The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic which has affected millions of people worldwide and caused thousands of deaths has exposed the fragility of many businesses. Many are now rethinking their business models with traditional ones being relegated as new transformational solutions get designed.
Just like any other industry, the insurance sector is witnessing a seismic shift towards the adoption of new technologies. Changing market demands such as increased use of smartphones and internet support devices, especially among millennials, are driving this change, according to Ms Bente Krogmann, the CEO and Co-founder of mTek Services.
Buying policies digitally
With changing market demands, clearly the brick-and-mortar ways of doing business in the insurance industry are now becoming obsolete as clients look for more efficient and trusted ways of buying policies from various underwriters.
“Today everything is happening in a flash,” says Ms Krogmann. “With Covid-19 living among us we need to adapt to easy and safe ways of doing things on the go while carrying on with our daily lives.”
Against this background, the 32-year-old Nairobi based techpreneur came up with a mobile app dubbed mTek in late 2019 to revolutionize customer experience in the insurance sector, eliminate paperwork and reach more of the uninsured.
The mTek app which is available in the Google Playstore allows users to select insurance services from various underwriters locally such us Madison, Monarch, AAR, Resolution, GA Insurance and ICEA Lion among others.
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The app covers the whole scope of general insurance from motor, personal accident, fire, international and local travel, school, health, and, lately, evacuation.
“The registration process is transparent and we process purchases and claims seamlessly. The platform also allows underwriters to measure the performance of the different policies we are selling via a web dashboard,” she adds.
Desmond Wafula who uses the app says it is fast to download since it is just about 7mbs. “The app is user friendly and the questions asked are fewer, relevant and easy to answer on the platform,” Mr Wafula says. “What I also like is the ability to buy a cover from the underwriter of my choice.”
Users can file for a claim and follow up on the same via the app. Also, a comparison tool is being developed to allow users to compare policies from various underwriters based on service and price and allow them to make informed decisions.
We have also mirrored the app for agents but with a twist so they can onboard their clients and manage accountsBente Krogmann, CEO mTek Services
“I was surprised that the payment integration is within the app and once I paid it went directly to my underwriter and I was notified instantly via email,” remarks Wangari Lucy, another user.
Ms Krogmann says in line with the Insurance Act, mTek Services is registered with the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) to legally offer brokerage services.
Based on the fact that the firm is white labeling products from multiple underwriters, the cost of the premiums is based on the policies and dictated by respective underwriters. However, mTek tries to make flexible policy payments terms and durations in conjunction with the underwriters, and allows real-time notifications within the claims process.
“We have also mirrored the app for agents but with a twist so they can onboard their clients and manage accounts,” reveals the chief executive. “We further developed an app for valuers with regard to motor insurance where they can schedule appointments and file reports. All the three apps are interlinked.”
With fintech apps being a key target for hackers, the techpreneur says that cybersecurity has been at the core of mTek Services. “We took a two-year development period before we officially launched to make sure that we introduce a product that is market-ready andwith robust security channels,“ she explains.
But all this has not come easy. Developing such a robust platform and integrating with different partners in a fairly complex environment was an exciting challenge to Ms Krogmann, and it continues to be a work in progress.
Going forward, she says that the future is bright for industries that adopt technology. Having come up with an app that is bridging insurance gaps in Kenya, it inspires her to ride on high mobile penetration in sub-Saharan Africa to set base across other markets and reach the uninsured.