Africell Launches Mobile Life Insurance
On Monday 23rd October 2017, Africell SL launched its latest product, the first ever mobile Life Insurance Product in the country at its company’s headquarters at Wilberforce in Freetown, chaired by John Konte, the Communications Officer of the company.
Speaking at the ceremony which attracted several media houses and subscribers, Corporate Affairs Officer of the company, Joe Abass Bangura, said that in line with their proud tradition of taking the lead at the cutting edge of technological innovation in the telecoms industry, they are launching the first ever mobile Life Insurance Product in the country. He maintained that in collaboration with GRAS SAVOYE and ACTIVA International they have been able to introduce this new product. He maintained that the country’s 4 year National Strategy for Financial Inclusion study indicates that 13% of the adult population have access to formal financial services like savings, Credit and Insurance and the study further maintains that unless the bulk of the population are given access to financial services, it will be impossible to take them out of the poverty line.
Joe Abass Bangura stressed that with 75% of the population having access to telephones they thought it fit to introduce the first ever Mobile Life Insurance Product in the country thereby targeting the above percentage of mobile phone users and exposing them to this financial service. He went on to explain the problems faced by families where the bread winners die and the financial implications of this sad episode on the families. He maintained that many low income earners do not have life insurance and proffered 4 reasons for this situation:
1. Affordability: traditional life Insurance is too expensive
2. Accessibility: people in remote locations do not have the means to access these services
3. Education: people do not know how life insurance policies can benefit them
4. Trust: people do not trust that their claims will be paid.
These obstacles, Bangura stressed, have been overcome by the very design of this new product. With this product people will have to pay barely Le50,000 (fifty thousand Leones) per year which is merely Le140 per day. Beneficiaries of this product will be able to claim Le7.54 million (seven million five hundred thousand Leones) when a policy holder dies.
On how a subscriber can be eligible to participate in the scheme, the Corporate Officer said that the holder must be an Africell subscriber, registered with Africell money, should have at least Le501,000 in his Africell Money account and must be between the ages of 18-45 years. The subscriber will subscribe through an Africell app which is currently available on its Facebook, Instagram and soon will be on Google Play and App Store. Subscribers will be required to key in the following details: Subscribers Full Name, Date of Birth, upload of the subscribers identification documents like National I.D, Driver’s license, Voter ID Card and Passport. For those who do not have smart phones, they will be required to visit the nearest Africell office with the above details.
According to Abass Bangura, upon the death of a policy holder, the beneficiary has one month to make their claim and should provide the death certificate and other relevant documents. Furthermore the owner of the policy has the right to change the beneficiary at any time for a fee of Le5, 000.For his part, the MD of Africell, Shadi Al Gerwawi buttressed the facts explained by the Corporate Officer and maintained that Africell has won the trust of its subscribers which is reflected in the amount of customers it has. He maintained that they should take advantage of this opportunity as the company is here to empower its customers and improve their lives. Seen how people struggle when have tragedy in family. He maintained that it took the company a year to develop the best plan and most simple system for its customers. They envisaged a situation where subscribers will be at home and be able to join the scheme. No questions about health or medical record will be asked. This insurance will provide a safety net for all who participate in it. The company is aware of the stress and struggles of families in the event of a lost loved one; this product is therefore geared towards alleviating that burden.
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