So we’re halfway done with this year already, can you believe it? If you’ve been keeping up, you know that Watu has had a pretty incredible year so far.
Now we’ve even onboarded more than 200K clients since Watu started! As we look forward to bigger and better things, we continue to innovate and empower our clients in various ways.
As much as we would like to help our clients to finance their assets and trust them to take care of it till the end of the loan period, that’s just not how real life works. Anything can happen out there, which is where insurance comes in to minimize the risk of losses for the company. In case of theft or accident, insurance comes in to make sure that the client keeps working and paying off their loan with minimal interruption.
So how does it work exactly?
For most of us when we hear about insurance, it’s always followed by a lot of numbers and jargon that is almost impossible to keep up with. That’s not the case here. In fact, we’ve made the process as simple as possible for our Watu clients and staff alike. For example, there’s no need to pay a premium as the insurance cost is included in the overall loan amount. Also, most insurance covers last for only 12 months after which they need to be renewed. Watu offers our clients the option of extending their insurance cover up to 18 months so that they can finish paying off their loan.
Watu offers comprehensive insurance to all our clients, which covers them in cases of:
- Damages involving incidents caused by natural calamities, e.g. floods and storms
- Collision of asset with a tree or animal
- Third party theft and fire
Comprehensive insurance is the best cover that anyone can get for their asset as the insured is also covered for all the damage to his own vehicle along with the third party even if it is deemed to be his fault.
After an incident, a client should then make a claim if they are still covered by the insurance. The process for this is quite simple and depends on the kind of incident reported. Once approved, the payout is made minus the excess fee which is usually 5% of the total cost of the asset. If the client is unable to pay this figure on their own, Watu steps in to pay it for them and then the amount is added to the overall loan. It usually takes 21 days or less, but this can be longer depending on whether the right documents have been attached to the claim, getting the logbook from NTSA and waiting for the police abstract and investigation to be completed.
Some of the challenges faced by the insurance department include:
- Clients don’t know how their insurance works and how to file claims incase of anything. In fact, many clients end up paying large sums of money from their own pocket in third party cases because they don’t know that it’s covered by insurance. We have tried to combat this by making sure that our officers in the branches know all about the insurance process from start to finish. This way, they can be able to advise clients on any insurance matter when they come to the branch during the onboarding process. We’ve also been doing insurance training at the ongoing chairmen meetings and getting valuable feedback on how we can simplify the process for our clients.
- Many of our clients do not have valid driving licenses which makes it impossible for insurance to pay for any accident claims. We’ve worked around this by asking them to raise 30% of the repair costs while Watu pays for the remaining 70%. This amount is then added to the total cost of the loan, which they agree to by signing a loan amendment form.
- Clients expect to receive the insurance money when their asset is declared a write off and it is challenging to explain it when this is not the case. This is because the money is first sent to Watu where we deduct the remaining balance on their loan. A client will only get the excess amount, if any, after their loan has been paid off in full. We also give some of our good clients the option of getting a repo bike for that amount and continue paying their loan, or they can just pay the down payment for a new asset.
- Not so long ago, our clients were finding it very difficult to get their bikes repaired after an accident. Even in the dealerships, they were being overcharged and there were always delays and sometimes no spare parts. We have now created a network of local garages, a minimum of 2 for each branch, that we work with and can recommend to our clients.
- As it currently stands, insurance only covers the asset and third parties but not the rider himself. We are working with GA Insurance to come up with a personal accident cover to address this. This will cover injury, hospitalization, disability and even death where a lump sum will be paid as compensation.
The logbook department gets involved at the tail end of the customer journey when they pay off their loan. Their job is to ensure that the client gets their logbook easily and in a timely manner. This official document serves as proof of ownership of the asset. With this official document, the person may be able to sell it to a third party or even use it as collateral to get loans from financial institutions.
At the beginning of the customer journey, the logbook is usually under the name of Watu or the dealership where the client got their asset. If it is under the dealership’s name, we try to ensure that we get it transferred to us from the start so that we can then get the client’s logbook from NTSA when the time comes. The process of getting the client’s logbook starts once the loan is indicated as closed on the internal MIFOS system. This is because the logbook acts as our security to make sure that the client finished paying off their loan.
At the moment, there are over 400 logbook transfers from Watu to the client done daily with an average of 1,300 logbooks collected from the dealerships per month. This was not always the case, however. As recently as a year ago, there were only about 100 logbook transfers a month. Through a lot of work by the logbooks team, systems were created that now make things run more efficiently. This includes a ticketing system that can be used to track the progress made and see what steps have been taken by who. It also puts emphasis on specific tickets so that any discrepancies are identified and quickly dealt with. In fact, now 70% of logbooks requested are already available because of this.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing at the logbooks department. Some of the challenges we continue to face include:
- Most clients don’t seem to understand why a logbook is important or why they should have it. To them, it never really becomes an issue until they need to prove that they are the legal owner of the asset. We have tried to counter this by trying to educate them during the onboarding process about what they need to do to get their logbook once the loan period is over. We also urge the registered borrower to come collect the logbook at the branch when it is ready instead of letting it just stay there.
- Getting the logbooks from NTSA has sometimes been a very frustrating process, especially when their systems break down and take long to get back on line. Here we have tried to make sure that we have the logbook in our possession at least three months before the client is due to finish paying off their loan. We have also increased and diversified NTSA collection centres which also makes it easier for our clients to get the final copy of their logbook.
Numbers You Should Know
Logbooks issued in June
vs 835 in January
Insurance claims settled in June
vs 371 in January
Employees of the Month
Please join us in congratulating our employees of the Month of July!
- Purity Mwalimu
- Mary Winnie Wonge Mwazo
- Simon Njuguna Kariuki
- Dorcas Mwangi
- Donatta Mango
- Simon Ndana
- Nelly Kenda
- Simon Sigei
- Phelisters Akeyo George
- Fredrick Ochieng Mtagaya
Thank you everyone for your hard work and contributions to your teams and the success.