aYo Zambia thrives despite pandemic

In spite of launching at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, microinsurer aYo Zambia has passed the 1 million customer mark in less than a year, and is aiming to double its market share in 2021 as it looks to give as many Zambians as possible access to insurance.

The company offers Hospitalisation and Life Insurance Cover through two insurance products, ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’ and has seen access to insurance services and related claims grow in its first year of operation.

Commenting on the company’s performance, the CEO of aYo Zambia, Andrew Nkolola, said consumer anxieties around Covid and its related economic challenges had heightened awareness of the need for protection and overall help in the event of either loss of life or hospitalisation.

“We are committed to helping our customers secure their financial wellbeing in these challenging times. In 2021, we will continue to put a strong emphasis on further benefit and cover enhancements to cater to the evolving needs of our customers and the market,” said Mr Nkolola.

Microinsurance is seen as a powerful enabler of financial inclusion in African markets, providing a much-needed social safety net that helps vulnerable people and particularly people with low incomes to stay afloat when the unexpected happens.

This is particularly important in a developing country such as Zambia, where pre-existing economic challenges have been further compounded by the advent of Covid-19 and Lower income households in particular livelihood have not been spared by the effects of the pandemic on the country as a whole.

According to the 2020 Finscope Financial inclusion report for Zambia, the main barriers to achieving higher levels of financial inclusion included lack of money, low awareness of financial products and unemployment. Insurance penetration, although growing, is still under 4%.

“With a mobile phone penetration rate of above 80% in the country, we believe this offers Zambians from all walks of life the ability to access affordable, easy-to-use insurance that is relevant to their needs that they have control over,” said Mr Nkolola.

aYo Zambia’s ‘Send with Care’ and ‘Recharge with Care’ products cater for all MTN subscribers. aYo Recharge with Care offers life and hospital insurance cover every time customers recharge their MTN airtime. Subscribers can sign up by dialling *296# on their mobile phones, and use the same process for filing claims. Valid claims are paid directly to the claimant’s mobile money wallet without any hassle.

With Send with Care, aYo provides up to triple the amounts that customers have sent via MTN Mobile Money over the previous four months. Life cover pays out to their family in the event of their passing, and hospital cover pays straight into their MTN Mobile Money account if they spend one night or more in hospital due to an accident or illness. When customers send money, they simply select aYo Send with Care when prompted*, or dial *303*1*4#