Airtel Introduces Insurance Product Tied to Mobile Subscribers’ Consumption Habits


Airtel Kenya has partnered with Pan Africa Insurance and MicroEnsure to bring a new product to its subscriber base. The product, Airtel Insurance, is targeted mainly at the informal sector in the country which happens to be the biggest source of employment. Just as it was the case previously with banking services which were mainly inaccessible to the low income earners before the market was disrupted by Equity Bank’s model, the insurance industry in Kenya is still a preserve of the few. Insurance penetration in the country is at 3.5%. Mobile phone penetration on the other hand is at 79%. This means that the latter can help the former gain traction if properly utilized. Airtel and Pan Africa Insurance hope the new product will be able to boost the penetration just like it has done elsewhere on the African continent.

Airtel Insurance Launch 2015
Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi with Pan Africa Life Assurance Company CEO Stephen Kamanda during the unveiling of Airtel Insurance in Nairobi

How to get it:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old and not more than 65 years old.
  • Dial *336# on your phone (of course with your Airtel Kenya line).
  • Follow the onscreen instructions in 3 easy steps: 1. Choose your language 2. Choose what you want to do 3. Enter your two names. That’s it. There will be a confirmation pop up and a confirmation text.

How does it work?

While every Airtel Kenya subscriber is eligible to benefit from Airtel Insurance, subscribers have not been automatically opted in. Each subscriber interested in the product will have to opt in using the 336 short code.

Once opted in, subscribers stand to enjoy death, accidental permanent disability and medical cover depending on their usage of Airtel services. The more money you top up the more you can claim later in the event of death, hospitalization etc.  The minimum spend on your Airtel line per month so that you can be eligible for the first tier of the cover is Ksh 250. Note that this is the cumulative amount per month and it need not be a single top up. Say you’re like yours truly and only subscribe to Airtel’s Unliminet 50 once in a while like when you’re expecting to get lucky over the weekend and that means unlimited texting and WhatsApp, you’d still qualify for medical and life covers worth Ksh 1,000 and 10,000 respectively if you do so at least five times in a given month.

Current Month

Following Month

Monthly Recharge Life Cover Accident Cover Hospital Cash
Ksh 250 – 499 Ksh 10,000 Ksh 10,000 Ksh 1,000
Ksh 500 – 999 Ksh 25,000 Ksh 25,000 Ksh 2,000
Ksh 1,000 – 2,499 Ksh 100,000 Ksh 100,000 Ksh 5,000
Ksh 2,500 and above Ksh 250,000 Ksh 250,000 Ksh 10,000

Airtel Insurance’s hospital cover will be accessible to inpatients in just about every medical facility in the country where NHIF is accepted. Airtel Kenya is promising that any claims made pertaining to the specific covers will be processed with 72 hours of the request being made. Of course there’s some paperwork that is involved before that company.

Airtel believes that this presents a valuable proposition to its 6 million subscribers. Would it go a long way in attracting subscribers already locked to competing networks? We are not sure.

While Airtel Insurance is definitely a first in the country, it is not the first time we are seeing a telecommunications company partner with other companies for an insurance package. Airtel Kenya’s competitor, Safaricom, has had a partnership with insurance firm Britam for the LindaJamii product.