By Mark Kawalya
Startup microinsurer aYo Uganda is making strides due to a growing awareness of the need for insurance in the local market. The firm is set to surpass the 4 million customer enrollment mark by the end of 2022 due to increased demand for its services.
According to Allan Lwanga, the CEO of aYo, the firm is enjoying the signing up of about 100,000 new clients each month. The micro insurer offers hospitalization and life insurance cover packages through two of its insurance products: ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’.
“The market perception of insurance, in general, is changing. We saw a significant increase in awareness of financial service products like microinsurance during 2021, with growing numbers of Ugandan consumers purchasing a cover to protect themselves and their families in the event of hospitalization or loss of life,” Lwanga said.
In African markets, microinsurance is a powerful enabler of financial inclusion as it provides a necessary social safety net that buttresses the vulnerable, especially low-income earners, to stay afloat when the unexpected happens.
In developing countries like Uganda, this is an especially important service for low-income households and small-scale traders who have been hard-hit by the effects of the Covid pandemic, which has reduced their earning potential.
aYo Uganda’s ‘Send with Care’ package and ‘Recharge with Care” are available for all MTN’s prepaid subscribers. The ‘Recharge with Care’ is a life and hospital insurance cover that is deducted each time a customer recharges their MTN airtime.
To sign up for Recharge with Care, subscribers can dial *296# on their handsets and follow the prompts. Similarly, they can use the same USSSD protocol to file claims, with valid claims being paid directly to the claimant’s mobile wallet instantly.
The ‘Send with Care’ product offers up to triple the amounts that clients send via MTN mobile money for the duration of the previous four months. This life cover is paid out to their next of kin in the event of their passing. The hospital cover is paid directly into their mobile wallet if they spend a night or more in a hospital due to illness or an accident. While making a mobile money transaction, subscribers select aYo Send with Care when prompted or simply dial *165*1*4#
In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the microinsurer paid out more than Shs760 million to its customers through claims that were processed.