Less than three per cent of Kenyans are insured, with many of the challenges facing the industry centring around distribution. Local startup Denkim Insurance thinks it has the solutions.
The startup was founded in 2016 by Dennis Kimathi, who had experienced the difficulties faced by the industry when working as an insurance agent.
“Many unbanked customers did not have access to insurance products, and did not have an easy way to buy for, pay and manage their insurance policies. Poor interconnection between players in the insurance value chain contributed to delays in information sharing, leading to a slow claim settlement process,” he told Disrupt Africa.
Kimathi’s solution was Denkim Insurance, which brings together the whole insurance value chain and allows customers to purchase and manage insurance policies.
“Via our web and mobile app, we help customers select insurance products offered by various insurance companies,” said Kimathi.
“Customers can connect with all the players in the insurance value chain via the platform, enabling quick claim settlement processes. Our e-wallet also enables customers to save money and set a day to withdraw, send to other users, or use to pay for the next policy renewal.”
By digitising the insurance process and making it simple for the unbanked population, Denkim – which makes money on commissions from policies sold through its platform and customer transaction fees – aims to increase access to insurance services.
“Losses incurred during hospital treatments, losses in farming caused by natural disasters, and all other accidental losses can be covered by insurance if customers are given a easy way to buy digital insurance products,” Kimathi said.
Users have liked the simplicity of the concept, with 12 insurance companies signed up to Denkim, and over 2,000 policies have been sold. Fifty claims have been settled so far. All of this has been achieved without an outside funding, but investment is being sought as Denkim looks to scale.
“We are targeting to raise US$1 million to help us scale our operations faster, help meet our increasing customer demands, and develop our products,” Kimathi said. “Plans to expand are underway.”