Orange Kenya, the country’s third-largest mobile operator, has partnered with CIC Insurance to launch Orange Bima, a service that enables the operator’s subscribers to insure their mobile phones up to a value of KES 40,000 (US $453.77) and also to sign up for life insurance that will pay out up to KES 100,000 (US $1134.43). Bundled together, the two insurance policies have an annual premium cost of KES 2,000 (US $22.69). The device policy insures mobile devices against theft and damage resulting from certain situations, and the life insurance policy covers accidental and natural death. Subscribers may purchase the life insurance policy without the device policy and will be able to pay for their premiums for both policies by using their airtime.
Kenya, which has the largest economy in east and central Africa as well as a minority wealthy population that lives in the country’s urban areas, still has 38 percent of its people living in poverty. In such developing countries, mobile operators have assumed a role far beyond communication providers. With Orange Bima, the operator may be able to increase the number of Kenyans who have insurance coverage—especially life insurance. CIC Insurance Group will benefit by tapping into Orange’s subscriber base and offering them its services. In the world’s developing nations that have under-banked and under-insured populations, yet growing telecommunications sectors, it is not surprising to see mobile operators partnering with other industries to bring these services to subscribers. If MNO customers view the offerings as convenient and affordable, the services will drive additional revenue for the operator, as well.
“In emerging markets, smartphones, including high-end devices, are now being seen as such vital parts of people’s lives that they are choosing to insure them. While Orange Bima offers its subscribers a life insurance policy on its own, the fact that the operator bundles life insurance with device insurance indicates that mobile devices play such a large role in subscribers’ lives that they cannot afford to be without them.”
Managing Editor, The Tarifica Alert
The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues: http://www.tarifica.com/TarificaAlert.aspx