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Union des Assurances du Burkina Vie (UAB)

About the Project
Project Name: 
Cauri d´or - Automating daily collection of microinsurance premiums
Type of Facility Project: 
Innovation Grant
Pays d’opération: 
Burkina Faso
Project Thematic Focus: 
Insitutional models and business processes
Life - term life
Type of Risk Carrier: 
regulated insurance company
Type of Distribution Channel: 
Direct sales, own agent network
Project Description: 

UAB seeks to roll out its life microinsurance product launched in 2003 (a promising experience with 15,000 clients) on a large scale with the use of new technologies. The product Cauri d´or targets informal sector entrepreneurs, such as women and men selling goods at a market stall, mostly in urban area. It is based on a contractual savings scheme and includes life and disability coverage. Clients´ contributions are collected every day (as low as 150 francs CFA or 0.35 USD per day). Terms vary from 1 month to 5 years and insurance premiums are low – 100 francs CFA per month. The benefit is twice the value of the contracted capital (with a cap of 200,000 francs CFA for both life and disability). UAB faces, as a main challenge, the security and high costs of manual daily collections. The use of new technologies (equipping clients with smart cards and collectors with computer terminals) should improve the administration of the product, overcome these challenges and help UAB expand its operations country wide.


Expected target groups: Micro-entrepreneurs from local markets
Expected outreach: 200 000 clients

Lessons from the Project
Learning Agenda: 
  • How do clients benefit from a flexible product? To what extent does the product enable the poor to manage risks and build assets?
  • To what extent do clients understand their insurance benefits if the product is bundled with daily savings?
  • How can insurers build trust among low-income people? Do smart cards help?
  • What is the added value of education?
  • What is the added value of technology to increase outreach and efficiency (administration and productivity on the back end, fraud detection)?
Emerging Lessons: 
  • It is important to put in place a system of comparison of bids (invitation to tender, for example) before selecting a technical partner, which allows not only a comparison of technical and commercial bids, but also testing of the candidates’ responsiveness and relational qualities. 
  • In the framework of an information technology partnership, it can be important for a supplier’s representative to be present in the country in order to facilitate problem solving.
  • When internal technical competencies are limited (with respect to new technologies in this case), a technical assistance solution, even at a distance, can be a way of remedying the lack of human resources.
  • Remote assistance can be an effective solution to obtain expert help with a project.
  • It is essential to have an effective business software system before connecting a “front end” technology.
  • It is crucial to obtain information on the cost and performance of the equipment proposed by an information technology partner.
  • In the context of a savings product without the option of partial redemption of the contract, policyholders prefer short-term contracts, despite their cost.  The attraction of the product despite its cost reflects the population’s strong need to access secured savings products. 
  • 75 % of customers are men.
  • In the context of a savings product, customers appreciate the possibility of withdrawing their funds early.
  • The fact the UAB Vie staff comes to customers’ workplace is highly appreciated and helps to build trust in the insurer.
  • It is important to clearly identify sales staff to prevent deception.
About the Organization
Relationship with the Facility: 
Innovation grantee
Country of Head Office: 
Burkina Faso
Region : 
Type of institution : 
Insurance industry
Participation in Microinsurance: 
Risk carrier
Organizational Overview: 

Union des Assurances du Burkina Vie (UAB) is a well-established life insurance company (33% life market share; 3rd largest insurer in Burkina of 8) with substantial experience in microinsurance. The Cauri d´or – targeting informal workers and offering a life microinsurance product - was pilot tested since 2003. The insurer´s key motivation is help poor families to sustain microenterprise activities after death of the breadwinner by providing his/her relatives with capital during the transition.

More about the Organization