The Insurance industry in Kenya dates back to 1930 when the first insurance company was set up; Ideally, these companies were set up by the British colonialist to insure their farms against loss and damage. Fast forward to now, where there are more than 50 registered insurance providing various insurance products including life insurance, health, vehicle etc.
Kenya has 70% of East African Insurance Market which includes Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, this is according to the Association of Kenyan Insurers (AKI).
But the 88-year-old Insurance Industry in Kenya is currently undergoing technological disruption in a bid to educate and increase customer adoption. This has largely been driven by the adoption of technology by potential customers in accessing crucial services. Kenya’s mobile penetration is currently at 88% while internet penetration in Kenya is now estimated at 112.7 percent with the number of Kenyans accessing and using the Internet on the rise, the latest sector statistics by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
New startups are have emerged and riding on these developments to address the needs and gaps that were largely ignored by the large insurers within the industry. They are using digital technology to design products that are affordable and efficiently accessible to low-income households, rural population and, millennials.
Large insurers have also partnered with some of these startups not just as their underwriters but with the need to innovate, develop and expand their product offerings.
Tech-driven disruption in the Kenyan insurance industry is being undertaken largely by the following startups:
Bluewave is an insurtech startup that applies research, innovation, and technology to low-cost innovative insurance products to the masses from as little as USD 0.4 weekly.
Founded by Adelaide Adhiambo in 2017, Bluewave seeks to make it easy and affordable for any Kenyans to get insurance cover people and things.
Their services can be fully accessed through their mobile phones using a USSD code and premiums and claims can be made through mobile money as they have partnered with Jubilee Insurance, one of Kenya’s leading Insurance Company as their underwriter.
KakBima is online Software-as-a-service (SaaS) insurtech that tracks insurance and micro-insurance policies, claims and premiums, and simplifies access to information for brokers, agents, and insurers.
Founded in late 2017, KakBima’s proprietary insurance platform offers a platform that disrupts the traditional insurance model by removing barriers like high ownership costs, slow product marketing time and restrictive long-term contracts making insurance honest, instant and delightful.
Founded in 2016 by Winnie Badiah, WazInsure provides affordable insurance products targeting the unreached and the low-income populace through their mobile application with the aim of reaching a population that has been locked out of life insurance covers.
The startup also has a proprietary SaaS platform that manages the entire insurance value chain by allows individuals to track their insurance policies in a single place thereby simplifying the process, and increasing transparency levels and cost-effectiveness of underwriting.
Bismart is an insurtech that aggregates and leverages on digital platforms and technologies to connect customers to the best insurance and investments solutions available in the market. The platform provides users with the ability to compare and purchase insurance products on their platform right from their mobile phones.
Founded by Eunice Maina in 2017, the startup aims to bring about transparency, convenience and trust when it comes to insurance and customers can also make their claims through their portal and have it delivered noting that they have also partnered with an underwriter.