World leading mobile operator, Telefonica, and insurance technology player, BIMA, announced the launch of their global partnership agreement to drive expansion of microinsurance in Latin America and bring financial services to the underserved. Telefonica and BIMA officially kick off this global partnership with the launch of their first cooperation to sell innovative mobile-delivered life insurance to Telefonica Movistar customers in Nicaragua.
The new product launch in Nicaragua marks Telefonica’s first foray into microinsurance and demonstrates its significant endorsement of the mobile insurance model, a rapidly growing industry with 52.7 million policies issued worldwide by June 2016. Within this global partnership agreement, Telefonica will continue to explore new market opportunities with BIMA to bring low-cost and accessible insurance to its customers across other Latin American countries.
The first mobile-enabled insurance product in Nicaragua is set to be a significant step towards financial inclusion in the country. According to the Nicaraguan Association Insurance Agents, life insurance penetration to date has remained at 3.1%. Mobile penetration, however, has reached 90% of the population. By providing low-cost life insurance through the readily accessible mobile channel, traditionally underserved and unbanked low-income consumers now also have the opportunity to benefit from financial products they have traditionally been excluded from.
The life insurance product is offered to Telefonica Movistar prepaid and postpaid customers, and is available in three costing tiers – providing NIO 40,000 (GBP 907.20) for the prepaid ‘Bronze’ cover (monthly premium NIO 46 / GBP 1.04) all the way up to NIO 384,000 (GBP 8,709) for the postpaid ‘Gold’ cover (monthly premium NIO 458 / GBP 10.39). The innovative insurance offering will be underwritten by Seguros LAFISE, Nicaragua’s leading insurance provider.
BIMA, an emerging markets mobile insurance specialist, has already been working with leading mobile operators worldwide to provide low-cost insurance offerings in 14 other developing economies around the globe, reaching 26 million customers and accruing 575,000 new subscribers each month. This first market launch with telecom giant Telefonica in Latin America adds to BIMA’s continuous success in developing insurance products that target the underserved segments. It also highlights Telefonica’s and Seguros LAFISE’s innovative drive to introduce products that add true value to customers.
Mathilda Strom, Deputy CEO of BIMA, commented on the partnership: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with one of the world’s largest mobile operators Telefonica to provide mobile-delivered insurance to the underserved communities. This collaboration demonstrates Telefonica’s trust in the growth potential of our mobile insurance model as well as its ability to provide the underserved with the financial protection they need. We are very much looking forward to deepening our relationship with Telefonica to bring low-cost insurance offerings to more markets in the region.”
Claudio Taboada, Insurance Vice President, Grupo LAFISE, added: “Our partnership with Movistar and BIMA is the first of many steps we are taking to increase insurance penetration in Nicaragua. We were excited about the project from the start because it removes the affordability and accessibility hurdles of buying insurance. With our joint efforts we will now be able to bring low-cost insurance to the wider population to give people the financial protection they need.”
 GSMA: State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2006- 2016