VENTURES AFRICA – Insurance penetration remains dismally low in Kenya by international standards, in spite of a wealth of insurance packages and agents, a situation that leads to both health and financial problems for the uninsured in the event of accident or emergency. Kenya has 46 insurance companies and 4,576 registered insurance agents, yet a paltry 3 percent of Kenyans have insurance cover. This is in sharp contrast to countries like South Africa, with a 9 percent penetration or Malaysia, which has an estimated 41 percent of the population covered by some form of life insurance. Studies have shown the uninsured people are less likely to seek medical attention for fear of high bills, yet those uninsured that do suffer injuries or illnesses are far more likely to pay more for any eventual healthcare or suffer serious repercussions from their ailments. Tom Jackson takes a look at the ten best options available to Kenyans seeking insurance.
Jubilee Insurance Company Limited
This leading East African insurance company has its headquarters in Nairobi. It has a strong financial ground and more than 70 years or experience. This company is the first amalgamated insurer in East Africa and Kenya and number one in medical insurance. It has plans to extend into other 12 countries in Africa in the coming three years. At the moment it has 8 branches spanning in the state. It was listed on Nairobi Stock exchange in 1984 and cross listed in 2005.
Kenindia Assurance Company
In 1978, Indian insurance companies operating in Kenya decided to amalgamate and form a vibrant joint scheme which had ethical and financial maintenance from the local trade elite. Thus the Kenindia Assurance Company Limited was formed. After 1979 the following became main shareholders: Life insurance Corporation of India with 10.21 percent, New India Insurance Company with 9.9 percent, General insurance Corporation of India 9.19 percent, and National Insurance Company Ltd 9.19 percent shares. Ever since, Kenindia has developed from strength to strength in becoming a guiding household name in Kenya.
British American Insurance Company
British American Insurance Company Ltd is an expanded financial services grouping in Kenya offering vast range of asset and insurance services to individuals, government entities, small entrepreneurs and corporations. This group has been providing extended heritage financial services from 1920. The business was recognised in 1965 and has experienced major growth over the past few years.
Pan Africa Insurance Holdings
Pan Africa insurance Company was established in Mombasa in 1947, and has since become the first insurance company to be listed on the NSE. Pan Africa General Insurance limited and Apollo Insurance Company Limited merged in 2003 to form APA Insurance Company Limited. Pan Africa Insurance Holdings Limited was restructured in 2004 after the merger to form two wholly owned subsidiaries. These subsidiaries are Pan Africa Life Assurance Limited dealing with life business and PA Securities which owns a 40 percent stake in APA Insurance, a 100 percent stake in Mae Properties and a 25 percent stake in Runda Water.
Heritage Insurance Company
Heritage provides short term insurance services of claim payments. Heritage came about when Norwich Union Fire Insurance together with Legal and General Insurance Societies started business in Kenya, merging their ideas and interests to form Heritage. Later, the shareholding was bought by local shareholders making its ownership fully Kenyan. In the mid-1990s, Heritage joined forces with African International Insurance Company and obtained its new name, Heritage African International insurance company.
APA Insurance Services
APA provides professional liability packages and general liability policies together with but not strictly limited to rental equipment and/or photo equipment. Some of the other packages available are: Umbrella, compensation of workers, auto commercial and employment practices liability services.
Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA)
Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) is a member of the First Chartered Securities Group. This is a leading savings and trading group which has interests in varied sectors found locally in Kenya. These sectors include insurance, banking, manufacturing shipping, property and agriculture. It has branches spread all over Kenya; Nairobi, Kisumu, Nyeri, Mombasa, Nakuru and Eldoret.
Blue Shield Insurance Company
Blue Shield has been rated amongst the top 10 insurance companies due to its high degree of provision of insurance products, which include general insurance, agricultural insurance and life insurance.
UAP Provincial Insurance Company
Located in Nairobi, UAP is a life insurance firm. It is one of the leading companies in Kenya having been in operation for 70 years. It has established branches in Uganda and South Sudan and a big network of branches all over Kenya. It offers products such as life insurance, tailored insurance, commercial insurance and personal insurance. It also covers healthcare, marine and pension.
Co-operative Insurance Company
CIC insurance was found in 1978 and formerly known as Co-operative Insurance Services Ltd. The name change in 1999 was part of a market repositioning strategy, changing the then small insurance company into a respected and well known firm in Kenya. It offers general and life insurance products.
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