BIMA Leverages Mobile Tech to Bring Insurance Products to Developing Countriesby Fintechnews Singapore August 10, 2016
With over 20 million customers and operations in 14 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, BIMA is a leading insurtech company that uses mobile technology to deliver affordable insurance and health services, and fuel financial inclusion in developing countries.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Stockholm, BIMA aims at disrupting the global insurance industry by bringing mobile-delivered insurance and health services including microinsurance, pre-paid life, personal accident and hospitalization insurance, as well as pre-paid tele-doctor services to low-income families.
In 2014, BIMA launched in the Cambodian market. By mid-July, the firm had managed to secure more than 75,000 Cambodians with its Smart Life Insurance, which is underwritten by BIMA and available to Smart Axiata (Smart) subscribers, adding 10,000 new customers every month.
“We estimate that Smart Life Insurance now accounts for about 40-50% of the total individual life insurance policies in Cambodia,” said BIMA’s country manager Amritha Mani.
Smart Life Insurance works with all types of phones; users are simply required to have a Smart SIM card.
Cambodia’s insurance industry drew US$32.2 million in premiums in the first six months of 2015, a 20% rise year on year, according to the Insurance Association of Cambodia.
“The insurance market in Cambodia is undergoing rapid development, with multiple players offering consumers real choice,” said Mani.
Smart Axiata is one of Asia’s largest telecommunications group, serving over 7.6 million subscribers. BIMA’s partnership with the firm is part of the startup’s wider strategy as to team up with mobile service providers to reach as many people as people.
In developing countries in particular, mobile phones are a lucrative way for signing up new customers.
“We are indeed very happy with our results. Being the first to offer insurance policies via mobile in Cambodia has been rewarding,” said Yap Kokleong, chief marketing officer of Smart.
For the Smart Life Insurance product, BIMA offers two levels of coverage: customers can pay a premium of US$0.80/month for life insurance coverage of US$1,000, or US$1.60/month for coverage of US$2,000.
BIMA Personal Accident insurance on the other hand, is sold in prepaid packages in cash. The premiums breakdown is: US$3 for three months coverage, US$6 for six months (plus 1 free month), and US$12 for one year (plus three free months).
Alongside BIMA, a number of other players are looking to disrupt microinsurance access and delivery in emerging markets, too.
These include UK-based MicroEnsure, one of the most established player currently serving over 42 million customers; Inclusivity Solutions, a South African venture; and CoverNow, a service launched in February by Upstream.