King Price turns 10, unveils bold expansion plans
Rhett Finch, Gideon Galloway & Wynand van Vuuren

Maverick short-term insurer King Price has celebrated its 10th year of doing business by unveiling ambitious growth plans. These include expanding its operations into Denmark and Europe, and launching a fully-fledged life insurance arm.

The company opened its doors for business on 2 June 2012 – it literally launched on a shoestring and has achieved, on average, 40% year-on-year growth ever since. Supporting this growth, the initial handful of staff has grown into more than 1,200 people in South Africa and Namibia, who service around a million clients across the personal and commercial lines short term space, as well as the life and funeral market.

Having launched with a world-first model that sees comprehensive car premiums decrease monthly as the cars lose value, King Price has already saved its clients around R250 million in decreasing premiums.

The company’s expansion into Europe is built on its acquisition of a strategic stake in Danish insurer NEXT in 2021, said King Price CEO Gideon Galloway. It also plans to launch in Europe through the easySure brand, with the intention of expanding its footprint across Europe and into other continents. It has acquired a licence to use the ‘easy’ name and brand, which are already entrenched internationally through the likes of easyJet and easyHotel.

Galloway says that Africa remains a key focus for the company, with its Namibian operation currently the fastest-growing short-term insurer in that country.

The insurer also plans to launch King Price Life in the next quarter, with a stated aim of making the life insurance space simpler and more accessible to ordinary South Africans. King Price Life, which already has just under a million lives insured via its acquisition of Stangen, will go to market with the Stangen brand, and a new brand called King Price livin’.

“The sheer size of the life market makes it an extremely exciting opportunity,” said Galloway. “We’ve been able to unbundle a suite of life products that sets us up for significant growth over and above our existing business, and there’s a real opportunity in Europe in the life space as well.”

Since launching, King Price’s personal lines products have grown to include cover for ‘everything you own’, as it now also offers commercial insurance that spans the community living, engineering and agricultural spaces. It pays around R2 billion per year in short-term claims, and its major shareholder, the Mergon Group, has directed more than R800 million to charities and NGOs.