Indian-based member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Uplift Mutuals, has launched its first mobile application (app), which will enable the organisation to expand its existing community-owned health microinsurance programme and reach many more previously uninsured urban and rural low-income households.
Uplift aims to deliver its entire community-owned model through the new mobile app so low-income families can access the mutual health insurance product in the convenience of their own homes and in their own language. The app was officially launched at an event hosted by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Institute in Mumbai on Thursday 21 December, and was developed as part of ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy in India.
Dr Nandini, Assistant Director Operations, Uplift Mutuals, explained the key features of the app for member policyholders: “Users will have instant access to all their policy and claim data. The app aims to simplify the claims process, as policyholders can register claims, upload their claims documents and stay up-to-date on the status of their claims using the app. Policyholders will also be able to access information on Uplift’s network of hospitals”.
The app was developed by Uplift in collaboration with its technology partner, TIETO, a leading Nordic software and services company with a regional base in India. Uplift and TIETO began their journey together in 2004 and in 2011, the two organisations began developing a web-based cloud solution (known as UTTAM) to enable Uplift to scale their operations and expand into more regions. This was rolled out in Rajasthan and Maharashtra from 2012 – 2015, and led to 48% improved efficiency and a 20% reduction in operating costs. UTTAM also enabled a dramatic decrease in claim settlement speed to just five days (down from 45 days prior to UTTAM). It is hoped that the new mobile application will enable Uplift to make even further efficiency savings to benefit the low-income households they serve.
Kumar Shailabh, Executive Director, Uplift Mutuals, explains: “At Uplift we are passionate about using data and technology to drive efficiency and decision-making, and to make our processes more efficient for our members. We believe the new app will enable Uplift to further reduce our operating costs by 10%, and will lead to 40% improved efficiency in the processing of claims.”
The launch event, held at The BSE Institute, a leader in financial technology (fintech) and inclusive finance education, was attended by over 40 people including Uplift members, existing partners of Uplift, donor agencies and BSE Institute staff and students. Payal Agarwal, ICMIF Foundation Country Program Officer gave a presentation on mutual insurance, the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microsinurance Strategy and the ICMIF Foundation’s work in India and Dr Nandini, Uplift Mutuals, spoke about why Uplift’s model of mutual insurance is unique. The app was officially launched by the BSE Managing Director and CEO Mr Ashish Kumar Chauhan and members of Uplift (see picture).
Sabbir Patel, CEO and Managing Director, ICMIF Foundation, said: “We are delighted to see how Uplift has been able to utilise the support they have received under the 5-5-5 Strategy to develop this app which will be a critical tool for reaching half a million low-income people with affordable and sustainable health microinsurance by 2021.”
Through the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy, ICMIF aims to expand the reach of mutual microinsurance in five countries over the five years by reaching 5 million currently uninsured, low-income households (equating to 25 million individuals). The project in India with Uplift Mutuals aims to provide mutual health microinsurance coverage to an additional half a million people over the course of five years, and is supported by ICMIF members The Co-operators, Canada, and Länsförsäkringar AB, Sweden, who are providing financial and technical assistance to Uplift.