, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – CIC Insurance Group has opened a multi – million shilling office block in a bid to serve clients more efficiently and contribute to the growth of the insurance industry.
The IT-enabled building, which is the second phase of the Group’s investment in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area, was opened by Deputy President William Ruto on Friday.
The building comprises 12 floors, twin towers, and has been constructed over the last two years at a total cost of Sh800 million with modern facilities for conferencing, training and communication.
The insurer is pursuing an ambitious five-year plan that will see it grow its gross written premiums to Sh45 billion by December 2018 from Sh9 billion as at December 31, 2012.
The insurer expects to have accumulated net assets worth Sh30 billion over the five year period.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nelson Kuria said this is part of its plan to reposition itself to better tap opportunities available in the co-operatives movement and micro-insurance sector.
“This will be critical in increasing insurance penetration in the countries where we will have a presence. We look at this from a commercial point of view as a source of growth in the future. But we also view it as a social responsibility of improving access to insurance to those in the bottom of the pyramid and empowering ordinary citizens with effective and relevant insurance solutions,” said Kuria.
The underwriter hopes to ride on the devolved structure of government to reach out to millions of Kenyans who lack any form of insurance.
Kuria also revealed that the group plans to devolve its real estate development services to the counties as a way of aligning its operations in line with the new political dispensation.
Already, the insurer has acquired 512 acres of land in Kajiado County on which it plans to develop residential houses by 2015. This is in addition to the 200 acres on Kamiti Road, Kiambu County.
“Purchase of land in the two counties that border Nairobi County is the first step towards entry into the very lucrative business of real estate development which is long-term and more rewarding in terms returns on investment,” said Kuria.
The firm has embarked on a regional expansion strategy that will see it extend to South Sudan, Uganda and Malawi.
The South Sudan operation will commence by May while that of Uganda and Malawi is expected to begin in July and August, respectively.
“We are going out to the rest of Africa in partnership with co-operatives in line with the international co-operatives principle of co-operation,” said Kuria.
According to a 2010 study by The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri) based in South Africa, Kenya has an untapped potential target market for Micro-insurance of up to 11 million people.