, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – The insurance industry has received a boost in market penetration with the addition of a new insurer, whose aim is promote insurance awareness and services to rural communities.
AAR Health Services Kenya, a business arm under AAR holdings, has launched a fully-fledged insurance company operating as AAR Insurance Kenya Limited that looks to drive the market penetration of insurance into untapped markets around the country.
AAR Group CEO Jagi Gakunju revealed that they plan to increase AAR’s market share by 20 percent this year by leveraging the country’s growing consumer class and promoting insurance awareness.
“The bulk of the people we have in Kenya are not insured and it’s a very expensive way of providing healthcare because they go and buy things on a retail basis,” he said.
“So what we need to do is become much more creative, not only at the top end but also at the low income end. The real growth of the future of this country is looking at the product at the lower end and helping people move,” he explained.
The insurance company will provide a wide variety of products and services including medical, work injury benefit act, domestic packages, personal accident and professional indemnity for doctors.
Gakunju added that they are diversifying AAR’s distribution channels to include brokers, banks and e-channels in an effort to further drive penetration.
In 2011, the Kenyan insurance market wrote approximately Sh91 billion of Gross Direct Premiums, a growth of about 16 percent from 2010.
The insurance penetration in Kenya is 3.1 percent, compared to South Africa’s 14 percent and Malaysia’s 10 percent.
Transport Minister Amos Kimunya urged AAR Insurance to provide its services at the county level and to merge with smaller, less successful companies to reduce the amount of insurers in the country.
“We have 45 providers and our dream has always been to reduce the number to no more than 10,” he said.
“I do hope as you grow that you encourage some who are not growing as fast as you to team up with you. I’d like to encourage AAR to start thinking of how you want to play a role within the provision of healthcare at the county level,” he added.