BIMA AND VODAFONE CASH LAUNCH FISHERS’ FUTURE PLAN IN GHANA
Innovative savings-linked insurance product to drive financial inclusion for fisher folks.
The Fishers’ Future Plan product is being officially launched after a successful trial period in three fishing communities over the last four months. The investment-linked insurance product which is delivered by BIMA through Vodafone’s mobile money platform, helps fisher folk to save and protect against the financial risks associated with death or permanent disability.
The Fishers’ Future Plan, which encourages fisher folk to save and provides access to insurance, is a project funded by the USAID Ghana’s Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), and created through a partnership between BIMA, Vodafone Cash, Millennium Insurance and UT Life Insurance.
Some key features of the product include: • Save GHC 20 to GHC 60 a month over 3 to 5 years • Insurance cover against death and accidental permanent disability • Options to withdraw 30% of funds deposited after every 11 months’ contribution • Interest earned on savings balances month after month • Linked to your Vodafone Cash wallet to facilitate easy payment
After being launched in May 2017 in three fishing communities, the partners have agreed on a plan to roll-out the product to all fishing communities in Ghana next year. While the roll-out will be phased, it is expected that up to 200,000 fisher folk will have access to the micro-insurance product by end of 2018. During the initial pilot phase, 3,000 customers were enrolled for the plan and claims were paid to customers who suffered an accident. The family of one customer recently received an insurance benefit amount of GHC 1,500 at a community durbar event in Jamestown, Accra.
The partnership brings together a unique blend of expertise to serve the needs of artisanal fishermen and fish processors. BIMA’s deployment of mobile agents in fishing communities is critical to win trust in fishing communities. The Fishers’ Future Plan harnesses mobile money technology to make it easier for fisher folks to contribute to their plans and receive claims payments via Vodafone Cash. UT Life and Millennium Insurance will underwrite the insurance policy as well as manage the funds saved by customers. By focusing on quality customer service and comprehensive community outreach campaigns, it is hoped that the Fishers’ Future Plan will complement existing government efforts to provide micro-insurance for this community.
The Senior Private Sector Partnership Specialist at SFMP, Nii Tackie-Otoo, noted that the package would provide financial security to most fisherfolk in Ghana “The Fishers’ Future Plan is the most innovative safety net to be introduced in the fisheries sector. Fisherfolk now have alternative income source and can utilize the partial withdrawal during closed season, enabling the communities to adhere to reforms to increase fish stocks and improve food security.”
Russell Haresign, Country Manager for BIMA said that “Our agents are on the ground in Jamestown, Moree and Shama to assist clients to enroll on Fishers’ Future Plan. The product have proved very popular so far amongst fisherfolks as a unique combination of savings and insurance. Our rollout will continue in 2018.”
BIMA is pioneering the launch of insurance & health products in emerging markets to low-income consumers that cannot access these vital services through traditional channels, having reached 24 million customers in 14 markets. In Ghana, one in ten life insurance policies are provided by BIMA.