Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa today announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with MicroEnsure, the world’s leading provider of mass-market insurance products, to provide insurance services to Airtel customers in Africa.
Mobile network operators in Africa have identified the growing demand for financial services, and micro insurance – a form of insurance designed specifically for low-and-middle income consumers – is no exception. According to a study published by Making Finance Work for Africa, from 2010 to 2012 micro insurance grew more than 200% on the continent. Even so, fewer than 20 million Africans outside South Africa have any form of micro insurance, less than 5% of the potential 400 million customers in sub-Saharan Africa.
With today’s announcement, Airtel is the first mobile network operator in Africa to position insurance as a strategic portfolio product in partnership with a global micro insurance specialist.
The range of Airtel-branded insurance products will include life, accident, health, agriculture, and other forms of cover. Airtel will bring the products to market and promote the service with its local brand, marketing and distribution infrastructure. MicroEnsure will design and implement products, provide technology, facilitate local and international underwriting support, and perform administration and customer service. The parties intend to expand services to several African markets over the next year.
Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer for Airtel Africa, said during the partnership announcement, “In many of our markets, less than 5% of our customers have any formal insurance products and there is demand for insurance offerings that are simple, affordable and reliable. Our partnership with MicroEnsure will deepen our value added services to our customers and provide access to insurance.”
Peter Gross, Regional Director of Africa for MicroEnsure, concurred. “With Airtel’s initiative to prioritize insurance in its product portfolio, insurance in Africa will change forever. The peace of mind that Airtel subscribers will have through insurance will support Airtel’s aspiration to be the most loved brand in Africa.”
About Bharti Airtel
Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 277 million customers across its operations at the end of June 2013. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com.
Contact: Michael Okwiri, Director – Corporate Communications
MicroEnsure is the first and largest organisation in the world focused on protecting the mass market from risk. As a micro insurance specialist, MicroEnsure designs, implements and manages products across a range of risks faced by low-and-middle income consumers, including risks related to life, health, agriculture, assets, accidents, and political violence. With a regional base in Nairobi, Kenya and country operations spread across Africa, MicroEnsure works with mobile network operators, banks, microfinance institutions, and other aggregators to serve its mass-market clients. MicroEnsure was founded in 2002 by Opportunity International and supported by a multi-million-dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007. The company has twice been awarded the Financial Times/IFC Sustainable Finance Award. To know more please visit, www.microensure.com.
Contact: David Dorey, Head of Communications
+44 1242 526 836