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Kenya Orient to leverage on bancassurance

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 26 – Kenya Orient Insurance is seeking to leverage on the sale of insurance through the bank to grow its market share in 2011.

Kenya Orient Chief Executive Officer Virginia Magondu said on Wednesday, the bancassurance service will help it increase its customer base as well as develop new products and services for its clientele.

Kenya Orient currently runs its bank assurance service through Family Bank, which has a stake in the company.

"We have rolled out several products that have been successful in the market and we are in the process of rolling out another one in the next one or two months," Mrs Magondu said. 

The Insurance Regulatory Authority has been calling for the implementation of bancassurance by insurance firms arguing it would help boost insurance penetration in the country.

The Association of Kenyan Insurance pegs the penetration levels at 2.8 percent of the total population.

Mrs Mangondu said that through the partnership with the bank, the company could reach out to customers in areas it was yet to establish branches. She said it also offered more reliability than relying on brokers.

"It gives more assurance to the customers because you are affiliated to a solid bank because sometimes these others… their loyalties are divided," she said.

She said it would improve its efficiency and ease access to insurance products to its customers, who are mainly in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.

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The move is also expected to boost the insurance firm\’s presence to corporate customers as it looks to diversify its customer base.

"Forty percent of our clients are individuals, about 30 percent are SMEs with very few corporate clients," she said.

Kenya Orient plans to open two new branches in Kisumu and Nyeri by the end of the year.

In 2010, the firm reported Sh769 million in revenue and expects the figure to rise significantly.

Follow the author at https://twitter.com/MjKaranja

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