Joanne Muriithi, the General Manager of MyInsure, fuses her experience in the insurance business and her technology skills to make it easier for clients to shop for the right package
Joanne Muriithi, the General Manager of MyInsure is a petite, soft-spoken woman with a wealth of knowledge on the insurance industry.
MyInsure is an insurance solution provider, which is both mobile-based and web-based. It acts as a resource, which one can use to compare and purchase different insurance packages from different insurance companies, which are in partnership with MyInsure. Her journey to the helm of MyInsure has been anything, but linear.
She graduated with a degree in actuarial science from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) in 2014. She then began her internship with K-Unity, a sacco after graduation and later moved to sell insurance with another company.
Through sales, she was able to identify her weaknesses on matters insurance and decided to go to College of Insurance where she graduated with a certificate of proficiency in March 2016. While she was learning more about underwriting and insurance, she was also studying coding and software development at Emobilis Mobile Technology Training Institute.
Upon graduating from both, she decided to use her coding skills and insurance knowledge to come up with a technology that would serve as a solution to the questions of insurance penetration, affordability of insurance and education. Her vision was for insurance to be a personalised and tailor-made service.
With the help of the now MyInsure CEO, Kennedy Kioko, they started work to actualise what is now MyInsure. They launched the software in November 2017 after putting it through beta tests in September 2017 and debugging and fixing any errors they uncovered in October to ensure that their product enhanced user experience and user preference. They have been in operation for more than 10 months now and have in the process learnt a lot about the Kenyan insurance industry and the Kenyan population’s beliefs and reactions towards insurance.
According to the Insurance Industry Report 2018, the penetration of insurance in Kenya stands at 2.8 per cent. Despite the fact that these numbers exhibit a 6.6 per cent growth from a similar research done in 2017, this is still quite a low percentage as insurance penetration in Africa as a whole stands at 3.5 per cent while South Africa makes up for more than half of all insurance premiums paid up in Africa with a penetration of 13.2 per cent. We learn all this from Joanne as she tries to explain the insurance needs in Kenya that MyInsure seeks to meet.
“Kenyans have shown a willingness to take up insurance. It is just that there is a lack of education on why it is needed and even how to read terms and conditions so as to be fully aware of what you are signing up for,” the former Alliance Girls High School alumnus informs us.
Joanne explains that MyInsure seeks to educate Kenyans directly through the platform and also through workshops in which industry experts talk to people interested in insurance regardless of age or expendable income. They also provide lawyers and insurance experts who can help explain any legal terms that their clients may come across or may need an explanation of, before they buy into the insurance packages.
Many insurance agents normally tell potential clients whatever they want to hear so that they can close a sale. Moreover, there is no opportunity to compare packages from other insurance companies. Buying insurance consequently becomes a time-consuming and frustrating affair, which should not be the case. MyInsure seeks to make insurance a more friendly service through the provision of professional and customer-oriented customer service.
“The whole process of buying insurance is automated on MyInsure. You do not have to go manual unless you wish to. We offer options on motor insurance, health insurance, personal accident covers, among others. Moreover, we ensure that you are covered anywhere you are in Kenya at anytime,”the former Wise Shepherd Academy student further elucidates.
Though still in the nascent stages of business, Joanne firmly believes that they are here for the long haul. “Technology should be used to provide solutions to problems that face the wider Kenyan population. MyInsure seeks to do exactly that. I believe that businesses that provide solutions are the way to go,” Joanne Muriithi concludes.