Purchasable through mobile phones and SMS, MicroEnsure offers affordable health, life and disability insurance for low-income residents in 9 countries.
Operating in Asia and Africa, MicroEnsure’s innovative SMS-based platform and partnerships with mobile carriers enable customers to get insured in seconds and pay using pre-paid airtime. Claims can be submitted via a text message and are paid to the customer’s “mobile wallet” within hours. To keep the premiums low, MicroEnsure negotiates with insurance companies on behalf of their clients.
MicroEnsure has a number of different plans designed for specific locations. In India, for instance, the company offers cashless access to hospitals for poor, rural households for about $5 per person per year. Under an initiative in Ghana, MicroEnsure partners with microfinance banks to pay a borrower’s loan installment while the person is hospitalized. The company’s insurance platforms have provided more than 48 million customers in Africa and Asia with their first insurance policies.
Why you should care
Before the country entered the Zambian market, only 1% of the population had access to insurance. In just one month after MicroEnsure offered their product, this jumped to 17%. MicroEnsure relies on the ubiquity of the cellphones to offer low-cost, quality health insurance to people in developing countries with no other insurance options.