, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – Nairobi was the county with the highest percentage of insurance premiums in 2014 according to the annual report by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).
The report indicates that the county recorded 76 percent of all premiums written in the industry worth Sh94 billion, followed by Mombasa at 5.1 percent (Sh6 billion), Baringo at 3 percent (Sh3 billion), Nakuru at 2.3 percent (Sh2.8 billion), Kisumu at 1.8 percent (Sh2.1 billion) and Kiambu at 1.7 percent (Sh2 billion).
IRA Commissioner of Insurance Sammy Makove says the distribution is indicative of the degree of insurance awareness, level of investments and population factors in the counties among others.
Premiums were lowest in Marsabit, Turkana, Lamu, West Pokot and Nyamira counties of all which had about 0.01 percent contribution.
“In 2014, the insurance companies were required to report their insurance premium written per county in a bid to seek where the gaps, trends and opportunities are in the counties,” Makove said.
He said going forward the IRA will continue to engage counties in its Executive Certificate of Proficiency programme aimed at enhancing capacity within the insurance industry by training insurance agents at the country level.
“The training of agents is one of the ways through which the authority develops the industry while also enhancing accessibility to insurance services,” he added.
In 2014, gross premiums increased by 24 percent to stand at Sh160 billion compared to Sh134 billion previously.
The report defines the Kenyan market as non-life driven unlike other developed economies, with premiums from the non-life business at 64 percent of the total industry premiums.
The report also indicates that insurance distribution continues to be intermediary driven given that 44 percent of that total insurance business came in through insurance agents, 35 percent though insurance brokers where as the other 21 percent came through walk in clients.
Insurance penetration (Which is a measure of the contribution of insurance to the national economy) declined from 3.4 percent to 2.9 percent in the period under review owing to the rebasing of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The IRA is however looking at coming up with ways to measure the actual number of Kenyans who have taken up insurance covers in a bid to know the capital penetration of insurance per capita.
On fraud, the Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit (IFIU) established in 2011 has received reports and detected cases of insurance fraud totalling to 87 during the period compared to 57 similar cases in 2013 with motor having the highest cases (27), followed by theft by insurance agents (25).
The industry also witnessed increased activities in mergers, acquisitions and other restructuring activities while 31 new and or repackaged products were introduced in the market.
“The future of the Insurance market in Kenya is indeed promising, as positive economic growth prospects will certainly go hand in hand with deepening insurance accessibility,” Makove added.