No El Nino-specific insurance cover in Kenya

October 8, 2015
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According to Gichuhi, the floods extension is popularly offered in the fire insurance policy or the various domestic insurance policies/FILE
According to Gichuhi, the floods extension is popularly offered in the fire insurance policy or the various domestic insurance policies/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – As the El Nino rains inch closer, Kenyans seeking to have specific insurance policies should know that they are unavailable in the country.

This is according to the CEO and Executive Director of the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), Tom Gichuhi.

“I would like to ask Kenyans seeking to protect their property against the floods to sign up to policies that have a floods extension as there is currently no insurance product dedicated to the El Nino rains,” Gichuhi said.

According to Gichuhi, the floods extension is popularly offered in the fire insurance policy or the various domestic insurance policies.

This comes on the back of the announcement by the meteorological department that Kenyans should expect heavy rains and flooding.

Earlier this year, the country witnessed floods that led to several deaths and destruction of property including homes and businesses in various places including Nairobi and Narok.

“What Kenyans need to know is that the expected El Nino rains are characterized as floods in the insurance world and hence property should be covered under the available insurance options that cover floods,” Gichuhi added.

Insurance Uptake

Lack of the exclusive cover could be in line with the slow uptake of insurance covers in the country.

According to Gichuhi, only seven percent of Kenyans are estimated to have one form or another of insurance excluding the NHIF insurance policy.

“If we speak about Kenyans under NHIF, then the number rises as approximately 15 million Kenyans are under that particular cover,” said Gichuhi.

Popularity

Of the insurance policies available in the country, the Motor Vehicle product is the most popular. Gichuhi however clarified that the policy’s uptake had nothing to do with popularity, rather, the law’s demand for all vehicles to have the cover.

Another policy that has big numbers is the education policy which falls under life assurance.

“Kenyans are taking education policies at high numbers in order to meet the high cost of quality education in the country and to ensure that their children stay in school regardless of what happens in life.”

But the medical cover is fast becoming popular and is currently the fastest growing segment in insurance.

“The emerging middleclass is sensitive to health and is therefore taking up the policy in search of quality healthcare,” he added.

On the other hand, the Last Expense Cover which covers for funeral expenses is the least popular. According to Gichuhi, Kenyans do not like thinking about death making it the least taken up cover.

“The option of Harambees – fund raisings- during the funeral process also competes with the cover. This contributes to its minimal uptake,” Gichuhi concluded.

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