Since its establishment in 2010, the Millicom (Tigo) partnership with BIMA has created an entirely new category for insurance, transforming the sector in Africa.


Millicom, the telecommunications and media company dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa, announced today that its Tigo brand in Africa has reached approximately 2.7 million active users across Africa, establishing its position as a regional leader in the mobile microinsurance space. Tigo Insurance, delivered in partnership with mobile microinsurance provider, BIMA, has positively disrupted the traditional insurance industry in Africa, driving financial inclusion and bringing mobile microinsurance to customers who otherwise would not be able to afford it. 99% of Tigo’s Insurance customers in Africa live on less than $10 per day.


“Mobile insurance is a critical component of our strategy to shape the future of Mobile Financial Services in Africa”, says Cynthia Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Division, Millicom. “Reaching the milestone of 2.7 million active users is a testament to our dedication in bringing The Digital Lifestyle to our customers and demonstrates how Tigo has become a force for financial inclusion in Africa”.


Tigo Insurance products, which are available in Ghana, Tanzania and Senegal, are designed specifically to give lower income segments of the population access to life, hospitalization and personal accident insurance that can help their families manage the financial impact of unexpected events. Approximately 73% of all Tigo Insurance customers are new to insurance, highlighting the new market access that Tigo has enabled by offering these unique financial services to its mobile customers.


Mobile delivered insurance is one of Tigo’s strongest performing Mobile Financial Service (MFS) products. In Africa, the company now has over 7 million active MFS customers. All of these customers are on paid products, demonstrating that operators can create a sustainable MFS business that services the low-income segment.


In Ghana, for example, Tigo Insurance has seen considerable success, having recently paid out its 10,000th claim. On average per month, Tigo Insurance pays over 300 claims through Tigo Cash, with valid claims going out within 72 hours after the submission of documents. For only 10Gp a day, paid through 15 instalments each month, customers can receive life insurance or hospitalisation insurance. In fact, as many as 37% of Tigo Insurance users across Africa are buying multiple insurance products, showing the confidence that these new customers have in the revolutionary insurance services provided by Tigo and BIMA.


Traditionally, it has been a challenge for insurance companies to service low-income consumers due to several challenges, including low levels of knowledge and trust in financial services, high costs and a lack of efficient distribution and payment channels. “Mobile network operators such as Tigo have the power to open the door to an entirely new and previously underserved market. And the close partnership between Tigo and mobile insurance experts, such as BIMA, guarantees that access is combined with high quality education, technical delivery and claims support in providing these vital services”, says Paddy Partridge, Regional Manager for Africa at BIMA.


The growth of the Tigo Insurance initiative has shown that there is huge potential for MFS in Africa beyond investing in mobile money platforms.