InnoLab initiative launched to spur innovation in insurance sector

InnoLab initiative launched to spur innovation in insurance sector

National Insurance Commission (NIC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH’s FSD component have partnered to launch InnoLab, an accelerator programme designed to support and grow the nation’s insurtech start-ups.

While unlocking innovations which can help transform the country’s insurance industry, the InnoLab Accelerator Programme, will unearth market-ready solutions to make insurance more relevant and affordable for Ghanaians.

10 innovators are set to be selected to participate in a ten-week programme that will provide them with the expertise, resources, and support to develop and scale market ready solutions that bring social and commercial value to Ghana’s insurance sector.

In line with this, GIZ Ghana on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Tellistic is supporting FSD Africa and the National Insurance Commission with the roll-out of InnoLab, by coordinating the programme and providing technical support to qualifying insurtechs.

InnoLab will leverage global best practice and results from similar initiatives, including BimaLab in Kenya, to support the development of a vibrant insurance ecosystem. The eco-system will comprise start-ups, corporate partners, investors, and research institutions working to accelerate and scale innovation in the national insurance industry.

Africa’s insurance sector is primed for growth and technology can help unlock the innovations needed to deliver more affordable and relevant products for local consumers. Industry insights by McKinsey indicate that Africa’s insurance industry is valued at approximately $68 billion in terms of Gross Written Premium (GWP).

However, most people who wish to get insurance products and services are deterred by high premiums and products that don’t meet consumer needs. To widen insurance coverage, FSD Africa plans on rolling out similar accelerator programmes across Africa, with plans for Nigeria’s accelerator now at an advance stage.

Solutions being generated under the accelerator programmes will be designed to speak to the needs of populations beyond their borders of origination. Among the success stories from previous BimaLab Accelerator programmes are: AiCare, a Kenyan telematics insurance provider which has secured funding from Nairobi Business Angels Network (NaiBAN) and from Toyota Tsusho and Bismart, an insurance agency which has partnered with Britam to launch a short-term school fees insurance cover called Elimu Smart which was incubated in the Lab.

Commenting on the launch of the InnoLab Accelerator Programme: Senior Manager, Risk Regulations, FSD Africa Elias Omondi said “start-ups need support to develop their ideas, which can easily be achieved through training, mentorship, and coaching. InnoLab, will provide this environment and an opportunity to create new networks which will ultimately lead to a revolution in the insurance sector.”

Commissioner of Insurance in his speech indicated that “the Ghanaian insurance ecosystem has huge potential and this can be achieved through initiatives such as this Innolab programme, which would serve as a catalyst for insurtech firms to nurture and showcase solutions that will propel growth of the insurance sector”

GIZ-FSD component manager Ms. Angela Armah through her remarks at the launch stated that the Innolab as a key driver of change in the financial sector, innovation has led to immeasurable efficiency gains, even though these changes can sometimes be accompanied by uncertainty and hesitation.

She added that “it is GIZ’s firm belief that today’s event will be the beginning of a journey for the Insurance sector to collaborate more closely with technology start-ups, to better address the insurability of policyholders by using technology to simplify processes and tailoring policies that better suit their needs.”

Applications for InnoLab are now open on: which has a deadline for submission on 26 January 2022. Successful applicants will need to meet the following criteria:

Unique, innovative businesses, focused on solving a compelling problem, economic or social, that bring social and/or commercial value to the insurance industry.

Makes innovative use of technology (hardware or software) as part of the business solution. Climate-based insurtech innovators and innovations addressing MSMEs are strongly encouraged to apply;

Have a working prototype of the solution (at a minimum) that is either in the market or ready-to-launch;

Have the potential to grow and scale to achieve high impact driving gains in line with inclusive insurance goals;

Have a leadership team comprised of driven, coachable and collaborative people with some expertise in the area of focus.

Gender-balanced teams and solutions that incorporate a gender inclusion lens will have an added advantage.

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