[Kenya] Bamburi Cement signs its retailers to a $1.5 million medical insurance scheme
Bamburi Cement has announced that it will cater for the full cost of medical insurance for its retailers. The initiative, dubbed Afya ya NGUVU, is aimed at rewarding retailers' loyalty.
Under the agreement, the corporate sum assured is Ksh150 million. The scheme is expected to benefit 800 lives through inpatient and outpatient services.
As the retailers are spread out countrywide, a simple customized solution was developed to enable the retailers verify their member details via mobile phone with the same platform being used for communication and inquiries.
The underwriter for the scheme is Sanlam General Insurance and the scheme's administrator is Alexander Forbes, which will avail a 24 hour call center and manage the day to day operations of the scheme.
"We conducted a market survey and realized that only 36 per cent of our retailers had medical insurance. Afya ya NGUVU is a direct response to this need. This is a unique and innovative value proposition which is not being offered by any other cement manufacturer," said Bruno Pescheux, the Managing Director of Bamburi Cement.
Medical care in Kenya is expensive and in the event of chronic illness most people dip into their savings or resort to fund-raising to settle medical bills. Afya ya NGUVU provides retailers with peace of mind and reduces the anxiety in the event of illness.
Though the investment on Bamburi's end is substantial, Mr. Pescheux noted that it was ultimately self-sustaining. "Afya ya NGUVU was born out of the realization that, as a cement manufacturer, we need to reward the loyalty of our retailers. We also need to provide additional incentives to sustain good performance and entrench a culture of continual improvement," said Mr. Pescheux.
Executive Director for Alexander Forbes, James Olubayi, reiterated that companies must customize solutions that ease the burden of health costs to their employees. A neglected group is company's supply chains that are critical to the survival of any organization. The solutions should ensure adequate coverage and access to quality care. When innovation in product design is applied then one can strike a balance between benefits and price, Mr. Olubayi added.
Commenting on the corporate partnership, Sanlam General Manager, Group Corporate Business, Mr. Evans Nyagah described Bamburi Cement's commitment to the wellbeing of its stakeholders as trend-setting.
The move to secure the general risk of Bamburi Cement's retail force Nyagah noted, provides a good platform to accelerate insurance penetration in Kenya. "At Sanlam, we see ourselves as Wealthsmiths as are in the business of creating and protecting wealth. The partnership with Bamburi Cement fits in very well with our corporate mission to provide tailor-made general, insurance products to ensure that your business and stakeholders are protected against the risk you constantly face" Nyagah said.