Mobile devices are now, quite literally, protecting lives across the developing world. For the first time in history, thousands across the globe and their families are protected from risk through mobile-based health and life insurance providers. Health insurance can be wildly expensive, and many do not have access to agencies or branches that provide it.
Life insurance to many low-income families is a low priority; food, shelter, and medicine are expensive enough. But as with countless other industries, mobile markets and transactions are changing the way that services are performed while also helping to improve the lives of countless living in poverty.
Mobile access is key to the insurance revolution. Cell phones are becoming cheaper and cheaper and governments are quickly building up mobile infrastructure, even in rural areas. Prior to mobile insurance, it was physically impossible for insurance providers to collect micropayments with any consistency, and those insured could not afford large lump sum payments.
However, services like Bima, which operates mainly in Ghana, have changed that. Bima is a life insurance provider that sells coverage for about 2 cents per day. The service offers different coverage options including individual and family plans.
Recently the Swedish-based company has started to offer mobile medical consulting, which enables thousands who live in developing and rural areas to access valuable remedies and diagnoses. Bima is such a powerful tool because it does not only give customers a safety net should the worst happen, it also helps them if emergency situations ever emerge.
In the past 10 years, mobile phones have proven to be one of the largest humanitarian tools in their own right. A decade ago only the richest in Ghana, Indonesia, Guatemala, and many other nations across the world, could afford reliable health insurance and care.
Now thousands are protected with more and more signing up each day. Nearly anyone in the 14 developing countries that Bima covers can now afford hospice care, in-home doctor visits and financial safety in case the unthinkable strikes. Bima and services like it are helping to win the war against poverty one check-up at a time.
– Joe Kitaj