Telecel upbeat on insurance venture

HARARE - Telecel— Zimbabwe’s second largest wireless network operator — is optimistic about its mobile-based insurance service, Telecare.

Obert Mandimika, Telecel’s communications director, said many Zimbabweans now understand such innovative insurance products and are willing to engage.

“The service itself has been rigorously vetted by various regulatory bodies to guard against the very issues that could make the market sceptical,” he said. “… when most people do a simple cost-benefit analysis, they have realised that the benefits far outweigh the costs,” he said.

Under the new insurance service, in partnership with Zimnat, any customer who subscribes to it will automatically get free funeral cover of up to $250 for registered dependants.

Mandimika said Telecel, with around 2,5 million subscribers, hopes to make insurance affordable for ordinary Zimbabweans.

At $0,45 per month, users get $250 funeral cover, $5 000 for local travel and $20 a day hospital cash-back for up to 30 days.

Zimnat underwrites and administers the full service.

According to Novarica, which provides insurance technology advisory and research, a recent survey of 79 life/annuity insurers indicated that mobile deployments have spread far beyond personal lines, with significant growth projected for this year and beyond.

It said, with mobiles now incorporating tablets as well as smartphones, insurers of all kinds are seeing mobile capabilities as increasingly core to their information value chains for policyholders, agents/brokers, adjusters, field marketing reps, and even underwriters.

The group said insurers are now investing in mobiles to avoid being left behind as more communication and transactions move away from laptops and desktops and towards tablets and smartphones.

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