Donate Your First Life Insurance Premium to Philanthropy

Brothers Philip and Atholl Tomlinson started Different Life. It is a life insurance company that takes the first life insurance premium of policyholders and donates it to philanthropy. In fact Different Life brands itself as a technology start-up as apposed to calling itself a financial services company.

The Tomlinson brothers got this idea from TOMS Shoes. Significantly for every pair of shoes sold, this particular company gives a pair of shoes to a needy child.

Philip Tomlinson, CEO of Different Life, was part of the team that developed Discovery Life’s initial product offering.  And his other clients include Momentum, Liberty and Altrisk. Today his brother Atholl is chief tDifferent Lifeechnology officer of Different Life.

Policyholders Choose the Project where First Life Insurance Premium Goes

With Different Life, policyholders don’t only donate their first life insurance premium to philanthropy. That also happens for each anniversary in the years that follow as well. The premiums go to the policyholder’s account on a crowd-funding platform, In addition, the policyholder can then choose the project where they want to see their premiums go.

At present there are 12 projects. These projects all feature impact-making abilities. As Different Life grows, it will add new projects, especially on the recommendation of policyholders. Policyholders would also receive regular feedback on their selected projects.

Full Cover to HIV positive Individuals

Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer underwrites Different Life’s products. Philip said he was totally confident in Different Life’s underwriting, stating that there are no gaps in the claims process. Different Life was also looking at ways to provide full cover to HIV positive individuals, who currently receive  limited accidental death cover.

Product development is something that Different Life is always  working on. According to Philip, Different Life’s productFirst Life Insurance Premiums are as good as any other life risk products currently being offered in the market. He further added that the life insurance company was looking for ways to bring the power of technology into the financial advice space

Different Life has been able to build an online platform where costs will be kept to a minimum, ensuring competitive premiums. You can also get a life insurance quote on their website within a few seconds and there is an online support agent to answer any queries you may have. Different Life offers –

  • life and disability cover up to a maximum of R10 million
  • salary protection of up to R90 000 a month
  • critical illness cover up to R5 million.


Different Life in Partnership with Those Who Want to Change the World

Insurance is always highly competitive, and Different Life believes its customers are looking for a company who will engage with them and partner with them to change the world. When asked by Moneyweb if the company was afraid somebody would take their idea, Phil Tomslinson said he wouldn’t mind competitors copying their idea and changing the way business is done in South Africa. He suggested that anyone looking to find out more about the insurance company should look on ‘’ and find out more about how the first premium of policyholders goes towards philanthropy.


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All info was correct at time of publishing