Africa has one of the lowest insurance penetrations in the world. A 2018 study by McKinsey revealed that penetration stands at about 3%. This is significantly lower than the global average of 7.23%.
Lami Technologies, a Kenyan insurance startup, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding to help accelerate adoption on the continent with its innovative technology.
The funding round was led by Accion Venture Lab with participation from AAIC, Consonance, P1 Ventures, Acuity Ventures, The Continent Venture Partners, and Future Africa.
According to the company’s CEO, Jihan Abass, the new influx of cash will be used to hire more people, improving its technology, and gradually fill the insurance gap by growing its presence across Africa.
Filling Africa’s Insurance Gap
South Africa remains the only African country with a good insurance penetration. Statista ranks it among the top 3 in the world with a penetration of 13.4%. Other African countries like Kenya and Nigeria have just 2.83% and 0.3% respectively
In 2018, Kenyan entrepreneur Jihan Abass founded Lami Technologies, an insurance technology company with the aim of breaking the 3% insurance penetration barrier in Africa.
Headquartered in Nairobi, with a diversified team across five countries in Africa and Europe, Lami’s API Insurance platform enables partner businesses -including banks, tech companies, and other entities to easily and seamlessly offer digital insurance products to its users.
Users can get a quotation for motor, medical, or other tailored insurance products in seconds through its API. Users can also customize the benefits and adjust the premium to suit their needs and get their policy documents instantly. Claims are also paid in record time.
Lami also helps partner businesses such as the e-commerce platform Jumia to manage their own insurance needs while connecting them with underwriters.
What makes Lami Unique
Most insurance providers on the continent fail to offer flexible, affordable and tailored insurance coverage that can provide a safety net for the African consumer.
Low insurance uptake is partly due to the traditional distribution and administration of policies. Distribution still relies on brick-and-mortar channels where policies are sold and processed manually. This results in a longer processing cycle, poor customer satisfaction, and higher distribution costs.
Lami has, however, found a way to reduce most of these problems. It uses cloud computing, automation, and third-party service providers such as emergency and valuation, or identity and asset verification databases, to offer a comprehensive ecosystem for the businesses it partners with.
It also helps develop, distribute, and manage highly streamlined and competitive insurance products designed to meet customers’ needs.
With its innovative offerings, the insurance tech startup’s vision is to help improve the financial resilience of millions by making insurance products more accessible and affordable for underserved populations.
Since its inception, the startup has sold more than 5,000 policies and has partnered with more than 25 active underwriters, including Britam, Pioneer, and Madison Insurance. It has also distributed more than 30 products including medical, motor, employee benefits, and device insurance.
Speaking on startup, Ashley Lewis, Africa Director, Accion Venture Lab expressed great trust in Lami’s business model.
“At Accion Venture Lab, we’re excited by how Lami is using technology to create a pathway for customers to purchase insurance that is specific to their needs.”Ashley Lewis
She explained that “by embedding customized insurance within businesses that customers know and trust, Lami is making insurance accessible for underserved populations in Africa and enabling them to build financial resilience.”
Despite the low penetration, Africa’s annual insurance market is worth more than $60 billion. Lami’s CEO believes that there is a huge potential in the insurance industry.
As an innovator in the digital insurance space, the company wants to use its new influx of cash to continue diversifying its business by looking for new partners and building on its core technology.
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