Fortunately, the rapid uptake of mobile phones and mobile wallets across the continent offers a particularly effective channel for the distribution of insurance to underserved consumers. It is a cost-effective and accessible channel for enrolment, premium collection, customer servicing and claims processing. It also offers the insurer access to a large pool of customers.

So effective is this medium for insurance distribution that the GSMA has seen a nine per cent year-over-year increase in mobile insurance services. Early successes in Africa include Tigo Ghana’s family care insurance product launched in 2010 that resulted in 500,000 registered members within the first 25 months.

Data from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) found that packaging insurance products through voice and data usage can rapidly lead to greater insurance uptake.

FINANCIAL BURDEN

In Kenya, the mobile insurance model has started to take effect with the introduction of products such as Riziki Cover by Equitel from Finserve Africa.

The government’s plan to widen universal healthcare under the “Big Four Agenda” should potentially consider the merits of the mobile insurance model.

For Kenya, mobile insurance is still a relatively new concept. However, it holds great promise as a mechanism for addressing the financial inclusion gap and reducing the financial burden on consumers who are most vulnerable.

Jeremy Leach is Executive Director and CEO, Inclusivity Solutions. jeremy@inclusivitysolutions.com   

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