Insurance matters are often not straightforward – but when it comes to pure life insurance – SafeSide can be trusted, says co-founder and CEO, Michael Klien.

Life insurance – it’s a heavy concept that makes one think of death – unpleasant as it may seem, the fact remains – everyone goes. And everyone who has family fears or is concerned about the wellbeing of the survivors once the breadwinner is not around. However distant this real possibility may sound – it’s best to look after the interest of your family – irrespective of whether you’re young, healthy and fit, or middle-aged, prosperous and youthful.

Michael Klien realised the importance and need for pure life insurance when he became a father. All of a sudden, he felt this sense of responsibility towards his baby – not just now and for years to come, but also for the time after he would no longer be there.

He says, “The birth of my first child inspired me to create SafeSide. My wife and I knew that the right time had come to purchase pure life insurance in order to financially protect our family. However, many of the insurance sites I visited were opaque and confusing. This should not be the standard. Pure life insurance is a simple, inexpensive and absolutely flexible insurance product – and perhaps, the only life insurance product that makes sense. In addition, I was not able to submit an application digitally to get a policy. Most of the time I was advised to talk to an insurance agent. However, I did not want to go down that route. This experience awakened in me the desire to simplify the way we purchase pure life insurance in Switzerland – and to make the process completely transparent for everybody.”

SafeSide AG was founded

The aforementioned experience motivated Michael to approach his current co-founder Georg Liechtenstein. Both, Michael and Georg have known each other from high school and continued to stay in touch – often pondering business ideas.

For Michael and Georg, it was evident that the time had come to start a business as they both realised that the Swiss life insurance market was a market in pain, waiting to be awakened from its inertia. In addition, Georg was fascinated with the idea of building a platform that would allow the consumer to directly insure his loved ones and not fall prey to commission-driven insurance agents – which, unfortunately, still is at times the case in Switzerland. Their joint vision is to harness technology and make the life insurance underwriting process smoother and more customer-focused, resulting in better prices.

After successfully participating in the F10 incubator and accelerator program in Zurich, they partnered up with an insurance carrier that was flexible enough to undertake steps to change the way pure life insurance is purchased in Switzerland. It was no easy task!

Since the start of their business in March 2020, Michael and Georg managed to change the purchasing experience in Switzerland. Their present solution provides a fully digital onboarding and insurance experience. Bear in mind, until very recently the Swiss life insurance business has been conducted in a very old-fashioned manner. Digital processes were barely existent. Application forms need to be printed and sent by post to the insurance company.

The new concept

Michael says, “Switzerland offers a great social safety net built on three strong pillars. Unfortunately, for many people, this can provide a false sense of security. Particularly for parents who are not married. They can have large financial worries should one of them suddenly pass away. Pure life insurance is an easy and cheap way of ensuring that the surviving partner is free of financial worries. It is helpful to replace lost income or pay down a mortgage. At SafeSide, we believe, you and your loved ones should be happy and not worry about financial protection.”
Georg reflects the same thoughts.

Hence, this led to the conceptualisation of SafeSide as an independent platform, where anyone can inform themselves of what life insurance is, whether it is right for them, and buy it in a fully digitally manner via the platform in under 3 minutes.

Sounds too simple to be true?

Says Michael, “Why not? It really is simple! The issue with traditional channels for getting financial protection for your loved ones is that you have to go either via an insurance agent or an insurance broker. However, both are strongly incentivised to sell you mixed life insurance, that is risk protection (which SafeSide offers) bundled together with a savings contract (which SafeSide does not offer).”

“However,” he explains, “bundling risk and savings have few advantages and many disadvantages. Key negatives are its inflexibility, long contract duration with large penalties for early withdrawal, and most importantly, being very expensive and intransparent.”

Both the founders of SafeSide have made an informed and conscious decision to sell only pure life insurance.

Georg concludes, “It pays your beneficiaries a lump sum that you specify if you pass away. You decide for how long you want to be covered, with full flexibility with regards to changing the coverage or even cancelling it. From as little as CHF 1 per day, you can get up to CHF 500,000 in coverage for your loved ones.”

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About the Founders

Michael Klien grew up in Liechtenstein. After studying Philosophy and Economics in London, he became a financial analyst and worked for various international merchant and private banks, in London and in Zurich. For close to 20 years his focus was on analysing insurance companies quoted on the major world stock markets. Before co-founding SafeSide, he worked at the Chief Investment Office at UBS. Michael is married and father to two children and enjoys swimming, skiing and reading in his free time.

Georg Liechtenstein grew up in Switzerland. After finishing high school, he went on to study law at the university in Vienna, Austria. He completed his postgraduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA. On returning from the U.S., he started working at a law firm and passed his bar exam in 2007. He then went on to work for an international private bank. Georg cofounded SafeSide and participated in the F10 accelerator program in Zurich.

Exclusive offer from SafeSide

Take advantage of this special offer from SafeSide. SafeSide offers a CHF 100 voucher that can be used on your second year’s premium when you purchase the policy before September 30th 2020.


Voucher worth CHF100 for SafeSide

The content of this article is sponsored by SafeSide Life AG.

Disclaimer: Written in good faith, we do not undertake any financial/reputational impact or other obligations/liabilities that may arise from the content.