Kenyan girl, 26, units up nation’s first digital automobile insurance coverage firm


NAIROBI (Reuters) – Jihan Abass, a 26-year-old Kenyan girl, usually walks into conferences filled with puzzled faces as individuals crane previous her searching for the boss of her new digital motor insurance coverage firm.

Jihan Abass, founder and CEO of Griffin Insurance coverage, speaks throughout an interview with Reuters as they put together to launch their flagship digital-only automobile insurance coverage firm, in Nairobi, Kenya January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Jackson Njehia

Abass is the boss.

“They might be shocked to see that it was really me,” stated Abass from her vivid workplace in Nairobi, the place nearly each wall is roofed in dry-erase marker scrawls.

Abass is founder and CEO of Griffin Insurance coverage, which launched its flagship cell utility on Friday. Griffin is Kenya’s first digital-only automobile insurance coverage firm, which lets clients pay in instalments and pause protection in the event that they journey overseas. Griffin will course of claims in per week relatively than the business normal of 30 days, she stated.

“It permits you to purchase your insurance coverage coverage in lower than two minutes,” stated Abass.

Along with the app, Abass’ 14-person crew has one other firm, Lami, that sells the expertise platform used to construct Griffin so different companies can use it to create their very own digital insurance coverage merchandise.

Lami raised half one million {dollars} in seed funding and goals to shut an additional funding spherical by March. 

Abass, who grew up wakeboarding within the Indian Ocean on the weekend, all the time needed to work in enterprise. After graduating from college in London in 2015 she turned a sugar dealer and was certainly one of a handful of girls within the enterprise, simply as she is now.

Nairobi, a expertise hub nicknamed “Silicon Savannah,” has attracted many entrepreneurs from locations like america and United Kingdom.

“A whole lot of the CEOs right here will not be solely males, but additionally foreigners,” Abass stated. “You don’t actually see faces like mine.”

Abass’ lightbulb second got here in 2016 at a restaurant when she realized her waiter didn’t have medical health insurance. Neither, she would later be taught, did most Kenyans – medical health insurance protection is about 19%, largely underneath a low-cost authorities scheme, in accordance with a 2018 paper in educational journal Well being Programs and Reform.  

Digital insurance coverage can drive down the price of all types of insurance coverage as a result of it will increase transparency of information and analytics, stated Abass.

Whereas the crew’s first foray is in motor insurance coverage (promoting insurance policies underwritten by Kenyan insurers together with Pioneer and Monarch), they hope to make use of their platform — and encourage different firms to so — to supply different types of insurance coverage, she stated.

Modifying by Katharine Houreld and David Holmes


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