Insurtech startup launches affordable prepaid car insurance 

Black-owned insurtech startup Vaai.co has established an affordable on-demand car insurance solution that works similarly to buying prepaid airtime, allowing consumers to purchase insurance they can afford and recharge it when required.

Vaai.co offers affordable car insurance plans for locals

According to a report conducted by the Automobile Association in South Africa, 70% of South Africans do not have car insurance, and Vaai.co has created cost-effective car insurance when compared to the traditionally expensive insurance plans available.

Thabang Butelezi, co-founder of Vaai.co provides insight into what led to the creation of the insurtech startup.

“Insurance companies actually penalise you if you live in a poorer area and drive a cheaper car – they charge less to insure fancy cars in fancy areas. It just makes no sense to me that those South Africans who need better prices are quoted more! Plus most of us are hardly driving our cars during Covid-19. Vaai.co developed the answer for those who can’t afford ongoing car insurance and those that have had enough of the great car insurance rip-off.”

Vaai.co

Founded by Thabang Butelezi and Duncan Barker, Vaai.co officially launched in January 2021 and the enables consumers to purchase prepaid insurance that is valid for 24 hours.

Users are able to select insurance according to their budget and access all the servcies offered by the insurtech startup on the free and easy-to-use Vaai.co app. Payments for the insurance can be made via the app or with a cash payment that is accepted at FNB ATMs.

“For instance, for less than the price of two 2 litre cold drinks you get R13 000 cover. If you have more money available, you can buy up to R120 000 worth of cover,” explains Butelezi.

Consumers must be aware that Vaai. co’s services are not a replacement for traditional car insurance as it offers affordable basic cover per day only for car accidents.

“Vaai.co is for those times you think a specific driving occasion is riskier,” adds Butelezi.

Compared to traditional car insurance, Vaai.co offers car insurance with zero excess fees from day of purchase and with no debit orders. This is an innovative offering as traditional car insurance charges a costly excess when a client has been in an accident.

Duncan Barker, co-founder of Vaai.co provides insight into how the insurtech ensures affordability for its users.

“And we also don’t care about your claims history. We keep things very simple – you select the amount of cover you need for the next 24 hours based on what you can afford.” 

The app is available for download on the Google Play store.

(Supplied)

How does it work?

To utilise the service, users must purchase a once-odd data logger that costs R350. This device is delivered to users and is used to run a diagnostic on the vehicle to save users money on expensive mechanical and electrical damage.

The device is able to detect if a user has been in a major accident and is able to dispatch a towing service if an accident occurs. Other features of the app include roadside assistance. 

Currently, the startup’s services are available in Johannesburg but it plans to expand nationally.

The insurtech startup took part in the AlphaCode Incubate programme. 

Dominique Collett, a senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments and the head of AlphaCode comments on the innovative insurtech startup.

“Vaai.co is right on trend with its insurance on demand concept. We believe that there’s a tremendous need for innovation in the insurance space, particularly during Covid-19 when finances are stretched to the max and existing models are no longer affordable. Vaai.co has developed a compelling solution for South Africans with cars who want cover, but can’t afford traditional insurance.”

Read more: SA tech startup launches national emergency services response app
Read more: Programme worth R2-million launches for black-owned hospitality businesses 

Featured image: (From left to right), Thabang Butelezi and Duncan Barker, founders of Vaai.co (Supplied)

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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