MicroEnsure’s success is founded on its customer-first focus and clever use of digital technologies. What can we all learn?

I’ve blogged about the microinsurance market quite a few times, highlighting why I think it’s so important not just as a new growth market in its own right but also as a source of inspiration for traditional insurers—particularly in the area of customer-centricity. The fact that MicroEnsure has enrolled 10 million customers shows once again just how much one can learn from these innovative operators, particularly when it comes to exploiting the potential of digital technologies and platforms to create customer-first insurers.

Reading through the press release, two points stood out for me:

Playing to win
Read the report.
  • Build the right ecosystem. MicroEnsure more than doubled its customer numbers in the past six months through partnerships with mobile network operators, microfinance providers and banks in Africa and Asia. The mobile networks were particularly singled out. In essence, what MicroEnsure is doing is identifying new ways of reaching its potential customers through partnering with companies outside the traditional insurance value chain. Identifying the right partners and building ecosystems to satisfy customers is vital, not just in emerging markets. As the Accenture 2013 Consumer-Driven Innovation Survey showed, consumers want their insurance providers to align better with their lifestyle needs, and not just provide insurance products.
  • Understand your customers to come up with the right offers, offered through the right channels. Of course, this is basic to any business and any market, but microinsurers are showing us the way. In Bangladesh, working with Grameenphone, MicroEnsure was able to enroll 1 million clients for a free life insurance product. The same approach in Ghana showed similar strong growth—this time with a free life, accident and hospital cash product to Airtel subscribers who spend more than $2 per month on airtime.

Keep your eyes on this sector, and then think how it can teach you to apply digital technologies more innovatively to really put customers first.

Read my recent blog series on insurance innovators.

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