MTN, Hollard pioneer mobile insurance

25 March 2011

South African mobile operator MTN has partnered with Hollard Insurance to pilot mi-Life, the world’s first mobile money life insurance service, initially being made available in Ghana.

Mi-Life is designed to meet the growing demand for insurance services across developing markets. According to a Lloyds study in 2009, the market for efficient, cheap and simple insurance in developing countries is estimated to be between 1.5- and three-billion policies.

“Mi-Life provides MTN Mobile Money customers the opportunity to buy affordable life insurance with the convenience of being able to manage that insurance via their handsets,” Mobile Money Ghana general manager Bruno Akpaka said in a statement this week. “Customers will be able to submit claims, queries and make their premium payments using their handset.”

The policies in Ghana are underwritten by Ghana’s Golden Life Assurance Company.

Reducing costs

The partnership between a major mobile operator and insurer will also ensure that the cost of insurance is dramatically reduced, while the ubiquity of mobile and strength of the MTN brand makes Mobile Money the ideal platform to deliver financial services in Africa.

“Buying insurance through your phone is yet another example of the possibilities one has with MTN Mobile Money,” said MTN Group Mobile Money executive Pieter Verkade. “Through our extensive distribution network, we are able to reach many customers with this important product.”

Transforming insurance

Hollard Insurance’s head of micro-insurance, Jeremy Leach, said the opportunity to partner with MTN to develop m-insurance was one of the most exciting initiatives the company had been involved.

He added that it would transform insurance in the emerging markets, making it relevant for the majority of people whom insurers have ignored.

“While we have had considerable success in the low income market where we generate over US$190-million in premiums in this segment alone, we believe this partnership will take the market to the next level,” he said. “The Hollard Insurance Group is committed to catalysing a positive and enduring difference in the low-income market.”

SAinfo reporter

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