BIMA: reaching the unreachable with micro-insurance
BIMA is the leading provider of mobile-delivered insurance. The company provides insurance and underwriting to millions of low-income people via innovative partnerships with major mobile network operators and financial services businesses. They offer a range of affordable life, personal accident and health micro insurance products. BIMA combines the power of mobile technology with a unique agent-led approach to consumer education to the benefits of having insurance. The 3.500 sales agents are the driving force of the company. Consumers can pay for insurance via deduction of prepaid airtime credit.
In just five years, the BIMA model has transformed the insurance landscape in the countries where they operate, proving that it is possible to reach consumers at the bottom of the pyramid at scale. BIMA (Swahili for insurance) has already over 18 million registered customers and has paid out over 3 million USD in claims. They have operations in 14 countries across 3 continents.
Combining telecom and insurance
BIMA is neither a telecom company nor an insurance company – they use technology to bridge the two, plus provide these companies with further support on distribution, product development and daily management.
Insurance is a powerful tool that can transform the lives of low-income families. These people are at the highest risk of illness and injury, and they feel the financial impact of these shocks immediately. Insurance can prevent their family from falling back into poverty. 93% of BIMA’s customers live on less than 10 USD per day and 80 – 95% have never had access to other insurance. But insurance is a hard sell: people think it’s a huge scam, or don’t have access to any. But, nearly everyone has access to mobile phones. By combining the two, a ground breaking approach—you provide millions have access to insurance, while linking insurance premium to bonus mobile talk-time.
The most basic insurance costs 20 – 80 US cents per month, and can even be paid in daily instalments. BIMA uses the principle of mercy claims (giving the customer benefit of doubt) and play a role in claims administration and delivery of claims payments.
Expanding to mobile health
Recently, BIMA decided to enter the health sector. In emerging markets people need to travel far and spend many hours in waiting rooms to see a physician. BIMA’s mobile health services make it easy, quick and affordable to access medical advice from a qualified doctor via a tele-doctor service. Memberships are available in 3, 6 or 12 month pre-paid packages and include an unlimited number of phone consultations with a qualified doctor for the whole family.
Why we selected BIMA for DIA Barcelona
BIMA is world’s leading provider of low-cost insurance. They disrupt the global insurance industry and fuel financial inclusion by using mobile technology. BIMA’s ground breaking transactions, programs and initiatives harness the power of ICT to address basis needs at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
Who is BIMA
BIMA launched in 2010 when AB Kinnevik and Millicom International decided to start a company in the space of mobile financial services in Africa. In developing countries, there is little customer loyalty when it comes to telecom, people juggle SIM cards and connections and it becomes a race to the bottom in terms of prices as companies keep trying to win customers. They decided to give free insurance instead of free minutes or discounts – a small part of talk time goes into insurance premium. They never saw themselves as a social enterprise until the entry of Leapfrog Investments last year with one of the largest financial round among Swedish tech companies.
Gustaf Agartson has been CEO at BIMA since the company’s formation. He moved to the capital of Ghana in 2010 and started building the business. He previously worked in management roles at Tele2, another Kinnevik company.
“We’re proud of our success so far, but really we believe we’re just at the start of this journey. Mobile technology has the power to transform people’s lives”.
Gustaf Agartson, CEO BIMA
Presenting at DIA Barcelona
Nicola Smith, Head of Marketing
Eliseo Haro, Business Development Manager, Latin America
Business Development/Sales: Mathilda Ström, Deputy CEO & Head of Business Development, [email protected]
Press/Media: Nicola Smith, Head of Marketing, [email protected]