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Kenya needs more insurance products for lower incomes, SMEs

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Nairobi — Treasury Cabinet Treasury Henry Rotich has challenged the insurance industry to diversify products and services for lower income households.

While acknowledging the strides the industry has made over the last 10 years, Rotich says there is also an opportunity to expand insurance coverage by creating products for the agricultural sector and small and medium businesses.

“Kenya’s financial sector is widely recognized for its leadership in leveraging mobile phone technology resulting in financial inclusion increasing from 26 per cent in 2006 to 75 per cent currently,” said Rotich, adding that the micro insurance sub sector is still underdeveloped.

“This calls for enhanced access to insurance products at affordable rates to the lower end of the market. I urge insurance companies to be more innovative to ensure Kenyans have access to affordable products.”

Kenya’s insurance sector is ranked fourth largest market – with premiums reaching Sh197Bn – in the continent after South Africa, Morocco and Egypt.

IRA Chief Executive Godfrey Kiptum has said the industry is looking to double the premiums in 10 years pointing out that a significant portion of this growth will come from premiums from the micro segment.

The two were speaking at the Nairobi International Insurance Convention recently where the Insurance Regulatory Authority is marking 10 years of existence.

Rotich also noted the regulator’s push for risk-based supervision and the tightening of legal framework has helped the industry bounce back from the 2008 financial crisis.

“As a result, the authority is now able to focus and allocate resources to entities that pose a higher risk,” said Rotich. – ALL AFRICA

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