A day in the life of an Unu Broker...


We recently sat down with Mohammed Areff, a Financial Advisor in Johannesburg, South Africa, to better understand what it takes to be a successful broker in the healthcare space, and how digital healthcare is helping him to further his business while impacting the lives and wellbeing of his clients.


Each day as an insurance broker is very different. While some days involve helping clients with policy administration and understanding, others involve pitching and landing deals that truly make an impact. And for Mohammed, it’s the impact he is 
able to make on the lives of his clients that really matters. “I often times know or 
get to know my clients personally,” says Mohammed, who is a firm believer in 
building long-term, sustainable business relationships. For Mohammed, who has been in the brokerage space for four years, the analogy of a journey is how he 
would best describe the approach he has taken to build trust and loyalty with his stakeholder network.

And it’s an approach that is working well for him when considering his growing network of more than 300 clients. Similarly, when working with his clients, Mohammed is careful to ensure the applicability of each product. Listening to the specific needs of each individual – whether a business owner looking for a healthcare solution for their employees, or a breadwinner in search of affordable healthcare for their loved ones – is an important part of his role. It facilitates adaptability and resonance, factors that have led to Mohammed’s current success as a leading broker.



When it comes to aligning the right healthcare solutions to his clients’ needs, affordability is more often than not the most pressing consideration. Factors such as the rising costs of medical aids and late joiner penalties for older clients wanting to join a medical scheme only compound this issue, making healthcare insurance a more feasible option. And yet, there is confusion and a general lack of understanding in the market regarding the differences between medical aid and healthcare insurance.

“This is again where the broker must come in to play an important role in educating the client on what is best for them, based on their individual scenario… often times healthcare insurance is the right fit for a client,” says Mohammed, who’s healthcare insurance offering has recently expanded with the inclusion of Unu Health: “For so many South Africans, R1 200 per month for an entry-level medical aid plan is simply not possible… so the option of a healthcare insurance plan that starts from R165 per month has been a game changer as it helps me to provide for and grow with my clients, regardless of their economic situation.”

Similarly, when it comes to large-scale deals that sit with the likes of employers and HR representatives from large organisations, Mohammed contends that healthcare insurance is often times the best fit, as not all employees qualify for medical aid, based on factors such as their role, weighting, salary packages and contract types.

As an added benefit, healthcare insurance is an attractive ‘perk’ for many employees while reflecting positively on the employer and their value to staff.


The affordability and accessibility of Unu Health can largely be attributed to the fact that it is a digital platform that enables the user access to various healthcare services, from the comfort of their smart phone. Among other benefits, this means no more standing in long queues to see a nurse or doctor at a public healthcare facility.

According to Mohammed, it’s the necessary future of healthcare that is both cost effective and proven to work. While certain client’s struggle to grasp the concept of speaking to a nurse over WhatsApp, for example, it is a small hurdle that is worth the education and effort: “Digital healthcare positions the broker favourability as it’s the way of the future… Change is inevitable, but as a trusted broker you are there to enable and guide your clients through it.”