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Low income families are at high risk of illness and injury, and the financial impact of such shocks can easily see them tip back into poverty. These families typically live on less than $10 per day and are at a high risk of illness and injury. Insurance is a powerful tool that can prevent families from falling back into poverty, but insurance penetration in emerging markets is typically less than 3% (as a percentage of GDP). Traditional insurance companies have struggled to service consumers at the bottom-of-the-pyramid due to four main barriers: low levels of knowledge and trust in financial services, high costs, and the lack of suitable distribution and payment channels. Microinsurance services were designed to cater to this group by designing low-cost, simple insurance policies that are sold responsibly (i.e. consumers are educated about insurance at point of sale), yet providers struggled to scale their operations. BIMA believes that mobile technology holds the key to unlocking the full, mass-market potential of microinsurance. Mobile penetration in emerging markets has now surpassed 80%, which creates a vast opportunity to reach target consumers.
BIMA created the groundbreaking mobile microinsurance model. This approach gives customers access to microinsurance that is paid for using prepaid mobile credit or postpaid billing. Mobile microinsurance has been defined as “any type of microinsurance product which leverages the mobile channel, regardless of the existence of a mobile money platform to improve a part of the insurance value chain which can include: product design, pricing, marketing and sales, policy administration and claims payment.” Since BIMA pioneered mobile-delivered insurance back in 2010, there are now over 100 live mobile insurance services according to GSMA’s State of the Industry report 2014. The same study showed that mobile insurance services are now scaling rapidly, with an annualised growth of 263%. The BIMA model has transformed the insurance landscape in the markets where they operate, proving that it is possible to reach consumers at the bottom of the pyramid at scale. This ground-breaking approach combines customer-centric product design, innovative tech platforms and a dedicated distribution team of over 3,500 agents. This allows BIMA to educate and serve customers one-on-one, facilitate convenient payments and ensure that claim benefits are delivered within 3-5 working days. 93% of BIMA's customers live on less than $10 per day and 80 - 95% are accessing insurance for the first time. This innovation is driving financial and digital inclusion across the world.