This 26-year old woman just launched Kenya’s first digital car insurance company called Griffin
Jihan Abass is a 26-year old Kenyan is on the verge of transforming car insurance in Kenya. The story started three years ago when Abass visited a local restaurant in her home country of Kenya. During a conversation with a waiter, Abass later learned that her waiter did not have health insurance. Abass received the similar answer from other people she spoke with. That was the light bulb moment for her.
Abass, an Oxford MBA graduate, knew immediately she was on to something. She later to research the Kenyan insurance industry and identified gaps and saw a business opportunity and that was how Griffin Insurance was born. “I realized that a lot of people here don’t have medical cover. That’s how I started to think about insurance, everybody deserves that,” she told Financial Standard. She set up a team. One-and-a-half-year later, Griffin, a disruptive insurance application with a focus on car insurance was born. Her story later receives international coverage.
Today, Griffin Insurance rolled out its flagship mobile app that lets customers pay in installments and pause coverage if they travel abroad. Griffin will process claims in a week rather than the industry standard of 30 days, Abass told Reuters. “It allows you to buy your insurance policy in less than two minutes,” said Abass.
With Griffin app, users don’t have to call or drive to the insurance company and wait in line. They can pretty much do everything from the App, including buying a policy,filing claims,finding repair shops and requesting an ambulance.Everything is a click away.
In her interview with Reuters, Abass also revealed her second company, Lami, a startup that sells the technology platform used to build Griffin so other businesses can use it to create their own digital insurance products. Lami has raised half a million dollars in seed funding and aims to close a further funding round by March.
Since its launch in September 2019, Griffin has only been able to attract about 347 active users. Griffin Marketing Manager Ummulkher Mohamed said winning customers over has been not been easy, according to a report Kenya site.
Nairobi, a technology hub nicknamed “Silicon Savannah,” has attracted many entrepreneurs from places like the United States and United Kingdom. “A lot of the CEOs here are not only men, but also foreigners,” Abass said. “You don’t really see faces like mine.”