Telenor and MicroEnsure bring insurance to the masses in Asia

Press release
4 minute read
Today Telenor enters into a new joint venture with MicroEnsure, a leading provider of insurance products to more than four million people in Africa and Asia, to form "MicroEnsure Asia".
MicroEnsure Asia has been established as a joint venture between Telenor Group and the UK based MicroEnsure Holdings Limited. MicroEnsure Asia will initially focus on introducing a range of insurance products to Telenor's business units in Asia as well as seeking to work with other mobile network operators and distribution partners in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Studies show that less than 5% of the population in many Asian countries currently have any insurance, yet the low and middle income market face significant risks on a daily basis. By combining simplified products and rapid claims payment with the convenience of transacting over the mobile phone, MicroEnsure has rapidly reached millions of subscribers in Asia and Africa.

“Our joint venture with MicroEnsure opens up an exciting new area for Telenor to

develop, and gives access to insurance coverage for a whole new customer segment. MicroEnsure is a good match for Telenor. Their range of products reaches more than four million customers in Africa and Asia, and they have broad experience in low cost operations,” said Abraham Foss, Head of Financial Services in Telenor. Financial Services is organized as a business division within Telenor Digital Services.

MicroEnsure was established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Opportunity International, a non-profit microfinance organisation that provides financial products and services for those living in poverty in the developing world.

MicroEnsure CEO, Richard Leftley commented that "Telenor is an exciting strategic partner for us given their strong footprint in especially the Asian region. There is significant interest from most mobile network operators to provide financial services and specifically insurance. This will enable MicroEnsure to continue its significant growth." Since 2008, MicroEnsure has expanded to provide insurance products to over four million active client across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

In conjunction with this joint venture, MicroEnsure today announced that it has expanded its shareholder base to include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Omidyar Network and MicroEnsure management as strategic shareholders. This is done to provide the capital and relationships needed to continue the group’s rapid expansion. Founding investor, Opportunity International US, will maintain a minority shareholding in the newly formed MicroEnsure Holdings Limited.

For further information:

MicroEnsure: David Dorey, Communication Manager
tel: +44 1242 526 836 or

Telenor: Atle Lessum, Head of communication Telenor Digital Services,
tel +47 415 05 645,