Kenyan startup launches insurance-as-a-service platform for underwriters

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Kenyan startup Griffin has launched, offering an insurance-as-a-service (IaaS) digital management platform to insurers and a motor app for consumers.

Launched in October after being seed-funded in early 2018, Griffin is an insurtech startup operating two commercial brands.

Lami is its IaaS platform, which provides customers with an API that makes it easy for front-end developers to design customer experiences around insurance products without worrying about the complexity of insurance and its workflows.

The Griffin app, meanwhile, is aimed at Kenyan motorists. It offers insurance products and facilitates all insurance tasks and jobs, and allows the customer to do everything related to insurance from their phone. 

“The app also offers a smart rescue system that allows customers to access a large decentralised network of ambulances, towing cars, firefighters, and security crews anywhere in Kenya. We are also planning to release several features that will dramatically change the driving and car management experience,” said the startup’s marketing manager Ummulkher Mohamed.

All of this has been developed to address low insurance penetration rates in Kenya.

“This has been caused by a combination of issues such as lack of awareness, difficulty in the purchase process, lack of technology adoption and eroded trust between customers and underwriters due to poor customer service or unpaid claims,” Mohamed said. 

“Our main focus was to increase accessibility via digital means, improve transparency, and provide convenience to customers, as well as mitigate risks using technology. Currently, customers have to fill out so many forms to buy a policy and their individual risks are not considered when pricing. This has led to the issue of overcharging those that are less risky, and undercharging those that are risky. This has had huge contributions to the ability of underwriters to pay out claims.”

Griffin, which has concluded several partnerships with underwriters in Kenya, is addressing all this, and claims to have seen steady initial uptake.

“Our downloads have been steadily increasing and we have approximately 450 since our launch,” said Mohamed.

“Underwriters in the market are also keen to collaborate which has been great. We are operating in Kenya at the moment but we are looking to expand across East Africa by partnering with various underwriters, brokers and agents across the region.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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