Kenya, East Africa — Kenya Orient Insurance Ltd. (KOIL) launched personal insurance coverage available via short messaging service (SMS). Safari Bima is a 24-hour personal accident coverage that is subscribed through an SMS service via cell phones charged at 30 shillings (U.S.$.40) a day, and entitles one to a cover of 100,000 shillings (U.S.$1,366) for injuries sustained in any accident within 24 hours of payment.

To access the product, users send an SMS with qualification information: identification number, mobile phone number and name of the beneficiary to KOIL. Users get a reply SMS with confirmation of the coverage. A message also will be sent to the beneficiary’s mobile number notifying them of their selection as a beneficiary.

“KOIL has been at the forefront of embracing technology to remain relevant in the market,” says Virginniah Magondu, GM, KOIL. “Today’s consumers are increasingly inclined toward technology, and want access to products that are available to them where they are, at the click of a button.”

The innovation, which KOIL says is set to revolutionize the insurance industry for being affordable, convenient and easily accessible, targets travelers, drivers and conductors.

“Mobile phones are rapidly becoming payment channels, since they allow instant, accurate and per-second billing,” says Kenya Orient chairman, Titus Muya. “We have them all the time, and we can implement technology to make transactions safe and reliable.”

The Daily Nation, a Kenyan newspaper and product of Nation Media Group Ltd., reports that use of SMS eliminates paperwork, brokers and sales agents, all of which raise the cost of purchasing insurance in the country.

Sources:, Ratio Magazine, Daily Nation

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