AllLife – The AllLife business model

The Unilever Global Development Award, supported by Business Fights Poverty, Winner, 2015

AllLife, a South African provider of insurance to people with HIV, has pioneered an approach that proves it is possible to insure the “uninsurable”, and to do so in a financially and socially sustainable way.

What the judges thought

  • This programme is inspiring on many levels. AllLife’s provision of life insurance enables wider financial inclusion as without life insurance people are excluded from other financial products, mortgages for example and other long term investments.
  • The sustainable business model created by AllLife is remarkable, using a unique system of ‘continuous underwriting’ to link insurance coverage with adherence to healthcare, and so create a virtuous circle as both parties benefit from the increased health and longevity of the policy holder.
  • This remarkable, successful and sustainable business model has huge potential in terms of scale and significance with great potential to expand and replicate both geographically and across other long term health conditions.

Social and business impacts

  • AllLife improved the health and mortality rates for people living with HIV, seeing a 15% improvement in the health of AllLife clients.
  • Through the business model, people living with HIV gained access to financial products, leading to economic opportunities.
  • AllLife's business model helped protect hundreds of thousands of people from falling back into poverty due to the death of a provider from HIV.
  • AllLife increased the awareness of HIV, and disseminated information to people living with HIV, reducing the spread of the disease.
  • AllLife’s work helped reduce some of the stigma related to HIV.
  • AllLife gained a business opportunity that would otherwise not exist and developed a business model that is replicable for other diseases.
  • Due to other companies absence in this market, AllLife gained a loyal and growing customer base.
  • AllLife had an overwhelmingly positive response from key stakeholders, including shareholders, media, and other influencers.

AllLife logoIn brief

Six million people in South Africa live with HIV. Stigma around the condition means that those affected often cannot access life insurance, mortgages and other financial products. They also face greater risk of poverty due to illness.

AllLife is the first firm to offer life insurance to people with HIV in South Africa, also providing advice on how to manage the disease – resulting in a 15% improvement in health for policy holders.

By developing a sustainable business model to insure the ‘uninsurable’, AllLife has improved the health and economic circumstances of individuals with HIV, increased awareness and reduced stigma.

The story in detail

AllLife has created a remarkable sustainable business model from providing life insurance for those living with HIV. AllLife supports the client in healthy lifestyle choices, and has demonstrated how this can be done effectively for both the business and the policy holder which can be replicated in other geographies and for long term health conditions.

- Keith Weed,
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever, Chair of judges
AllLife is a leading South African provider of insurance to people with HIV.  It provides insurance based on a system of “continuous underwriting” which links insurance coverage to adherence to healthcare.

Essential insurance coverage for HIV+ community

There are around six million people living with HIV in South Africa. Because of the stigma associated with the disease, many lose hope; most do not participate in the economy or make the best health choices.

Life insurance is needed to access other financial services, so AllLife enables people living with HIV to improve their economic prospects. It is also key to poverty eradication: in a country where an average of eight people are dependent on one income earner, whole families are at risk if their main earner dies or becomes ill.

AllLife’s business model is centred on improving the lives of the HIV+ community by providing both life insurance and knowledge on how to manage their disease. While this market is generally considered “non-standard-risks” by the established insurance industry, AllLife has pioneered an approach that proves it is possible to insure the “uninsurable”, and to do so in a financially and socially sustainable way.

Financial inclusion and support for their condition

Founded by three engineers and a medical doctor, AllLife is dedicated to improving the economic prospect of clients as well as their health and longevity. This is done through interacting with clients and the HIV+ community regularly and over multiple channels to guide them to make the right choices.

AllLife provides both life insurance products and health improvement processes to people living with HIV. This achieves two things.

Firstly, it spurs financial inclusion, enabling people living with HIV to improve their economic circumstances. Life insurance allows greater access to other financial tools that enable individuals to participate fully in a society’s economic opportunities.

Secondly, by providing customers with information on how to manage their condition, AllLife  improves health outcomes. Those with allLife policies show and average health improvement of 15%, whether or not they are receiving treatment. An AllLife policy has resulted in an average health improvement of 15% in a customer, whether or not that person is receiving treatment. This gives clients increased confidence that they can participate in the general economy and take advantage of the opportunities available.

AllLife also campaigns to reduce the HIV stigma by reiterating the message that HIV is a chronic manageable disease.

What AllLife's CEO said:

"Having a real and material impact on our clients’ lives is not just a programme at AllLife, rather we have embedded this philosophy into our business DNA. We are a social impact firm in the truest sense, and we cannot operate profitably without having an immense positive impact on society." - Ross Beerman, CEO, AllLife Group