NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Close to 50 percent of insurance policies sold in Kenya are geared towards ensuring parents are able to meet their children’s future education costs, an industry player revealed on Tuesday.
UAP Life Managing Director Stephen Maina said the cost of higher education learning has been on an upward rise in Kenya and insurance firms are filling the gap by developing covers that address the challenge.
“The number of people who buy insurance for the primary reason of providing for their children’s education is almost the biggest percentage – close to 50 percent,” Mr Maina said.
Speaking as he unveiled the Elimika Education Policy from UAP, Mr Maina said the demand for higher education has been on the rise and the new policy aims at guaranteeing availability of funds to finance university education
“Despite the fact there are many education policies out there many people were not satisfied with products they were getting. Parents want their children to go to a good primary school, qualify for high school, get good grades to join university of choice,” Mr Maina.
The product also caters for the rising number of students who are opting for overseas universities.
Mr Maina said in 1999 an estimated 30,000 students sought university education outside Kenya at a cost of Sh40 billion.
University fees have been on the rise over the last couple of years. At the same time, public universities are seeking an approval from the Cabinet on a proposal to increase college fees by close to 100 percent.
The proposal seeks to increase the current fees from Sh16,000 paid by regular students to at least Sh30,000 per year to finance capital projects by the various institutions.
“I see education taking a very central role in the lives of most Kenyans and as that happens there will be more and more parents wanting to know how this dream will be realised,” he said.
The Elimika policy is programmed to be collaborative, with the parent and child working on the expected parameters together with UAP. Premiums collected are invested in defined return assets over the life of the policy and UAP takes over paying the child’s education once a university is secured.
The policy covers an education period of between three to 10 years that, depending on the amount saved, could cater up to Masters Degree level.