Trustco to expand mobile insurance

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Namibia-based Trustco Group Holdings aims to expand its mobile insurance offerings into as many countries as possible and is in talks in SA.

The group, which specialises in micro financial services, offers free life insurance to consumers who buy airtime. The insurance is valid for 30 days.

MD Quinton van Rooyen says the mobile insurance product is “ready for more markets”. He says the group is targeting as many countries as possible and is focusing on the Brazil, Russia, India, China, SA (BRICS) region this year.

Foot traffic

Trustco is also expanding the insurance concept - available in Namibia and Zimbabwe - beyond mobile operators and is running a trial with Shoprite, in Namibia, says Van Rooyen. The group is also in talks with a retail group and a cellular company in SA, he adds.

Van Rooyen explains that the insurance is paid for by the retailer or cellular company but is a differentiator as any deal is exclusive. It aids in retaining customers and the payout is capped at $10 000.

Only about 5% of Africa's almost a billion people have any form of insurance, which provides a large untapped market, says Van Rooyen. The risk of death is built into the premium and is based on actuarial studies, he comments.

“Our focus is to take financial services to hitherto under-serviced communications in Africa and to the BRICS countries through the application of high-end technology solutions.”

Growing earnings

Trustco yesterday presented its results for the year to March and said revenue gained 21%, to $713 million. One Namibian dollar is equivalent to a rand, as the rate is fixed. After tax profit gained 9%, to $207 million and headline earnings grew 5%, to $139 million.

Its largest unit, micro insurance and technology solutions, improved revenue 10% to $464 million and net profit gained 9%, to $98 million. It accounted for 47% of overall profit and the mobile insurance arm made about $40 million, says Van Rooyen.

Trustco was the first company to list on the JSE's Africa board in 2009 and listed on the main board earlier this month.

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