LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bima, the leading global microinsurance provider, announced a 5 million USD investment from Digicel Group, the leading total communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. This investment and the resulting partnership will help Bima to deliver access to affordable insurance on a scale never seen before in those regions.
The market opportunity for microinsurance in Asia Pacific and the Caribbean is vast, with insurance penetration at less than 7% (as a percentage of GDP). Bima’s success is based on overcoming barriers to entry for the mass-market through the development of simple and affordable products as well as innovative modes of distribution. The company already has successful operations in 11 markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and Digicel’s investment will provide resources and insight to help Bima rapidly build its presence in these new regions.
The partnership has already launched two regional operations, in Haiti and Papua New Guinea. Both markets leverage Bima’s expertise in mobile-delivered insurance, wherein customers can pay for insurance cover via their prepaid airtime. This model provides a safe and trusted route for customers to register and pay for valuable insurance protection. Digicel customers in Haiti and Papua New Guinea can now register for paid life insurance products for a few USD cents per day, with claims paid within 72 hours of submitting the necessary paperwork.
Colm Delves, Group CEO of Digicel, comments; “We are committed to providing our customers with valuable and relevant services in addition to delivering first class telecommunications. We believe that everybody should have access to insurance and that the Bima portfolio of products delivers real benefits to our customers.
“When looking to roll out an insurance offering, Bima was a natural choice of partner for Digicel and our investment reflects our belief in its business model”.
Gustaf Agartson, CEO BIMA said, “There is significant demand for our products in the Pacific and Caribbean, where the mass-market has been underserved by traditional insurers to date. With access to Digicel’s network of customers, we have the potential to provide access to insurance at a scale never seen before in these regions.”
Bima provides emerging market consumers – who have been long underserved by traditional financial services companies – with access to simple and affordable insurance products. The company has successful operations in 13 markets across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and continues to expand its global footprint. Bima provides much needed protection to a growing customer base of over 10 million customers worldwide.
The company is a recognized leader in the mobile-delivered insurance space and also offers an innovative direct-to-consumer model in which customers can, for the first time, buy cover in pre-paid packages. Together with its partners, Bima continues to fuel the development of the microinsurance industry around the world.
Digicel Group is a leading total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 13 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.
Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams, including the Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel sponsors the West Indies cricket team and is also the presenting partner of the Caribbean Premier League. In the Pacific, Digicel is the proud sponsor of several national rugby teams and also sponsors the Vanuatu cricket team.
Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.
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