Telefónica and Bima partner together to launch microinsurance in Latin America

20 March 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

Telefónica and technology insurance technology player, Bima are partnering together to expand microinsurance and financial services in Latin America.

Jaime Grau 200 x 261To kick start this partnership the two companies will launch mobile-delivered life insurance to Telefónica Movistar customers in Nicaragua. This will mark Telefónica’s first entry into microinsurance and underscores its support of the mobile insurance model.

Speaking about the collaboration, Jaime Grau, global director of financial services at Telefonica, said: "Mobile is transforming the way people access financial services and particularly for the underserved and the unbanked, mobile offers them an alternative means to obtain basic financial services such as insurance which they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access. As one of the world’s largest mobile operators, we aim to lead the development of mobile financial solutions and we are very pleased to be partnering with the leading emerging markets insurance provider Bima to bring valuable services to our customer base in Latin America and more importantly, to promote financial inclusion."

Under the terms of the agreement Telefónica 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 life insurance product is available to Telefonica Movistar prepaid and postpaid customers, and is available on the following price plans

- The first being costing NIO 40,000 ($1276.80) for the prepaid 'Bronze’ cover (monthly premium NIO 46 ($1.47).

- The next costing NIO 384,000 ($12257.28) for the postpaid 'Gold’ cover (monthly premium NIO 458 ($14.62).

"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," said Mathilda Strom, deputy CEO of Bima. "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."

This mobile-enabled insurance offering in Nicaragua is set to act as 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.

 "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," added Claudio Taboada, insurance vice president at Grupo LAFISE.

Topics: Telefónica, Bima, microinsurance, mobile, Jaime Grau, Mathilda Strom, Claudio Taboada, Nicaragua