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UAP product to help plan the future

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21- Insurance firms need to continue aggressively promoting innovative products in the market, which can in turn boost insurance penetration levels in the industry.

UAP Life Managing Director Jerim Otieno said on Monday that the industry also needs to develop cost efficient insurance distribution channels that can enable them to reach all Kenyans.

"We need to give people products that make sense to them. We need to sort out our distribution and take the products in the market in a manner that is easy for people to consume," said Mr Otieno.

The industry has been growing at a snail\’s pace with only about three percent of the population having access to insurance and less than one percent having bought life covers.

The sector is dogged by many challenges including lack of awareness about insurance matters and negative perceptions of the players. It does not help that policy documents are worded in insurance jargon which many Kenyans find confusing.

Despite these constraints, the industry has been accused of looking for potential customers in the \’wrong places\’ and challenged to use social media networks to push their products and services.

On platforms such networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the industry will be able to market its products to nearly five million young Kenyans who visits such sites, which would in turn spur the growth of the sector whose asset base is a mere Sh177 billion compared to that of the banking industry which stands at Sh1.5 trillion.

On the regulation front, Mr Otieno said there was room for the government to improve in, in the formulation of laws that are conducive for the industry to operate in.

The MD spoke during the launch of the company\’s product dubbed \’Hakika Savings Plan\’ which is designed to help young people to save in order to enable them fund their financial obligations such as the down-payment of mortgages.

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"Hakika Savings Plan is a guaranteed insurance-backed savings plan that targets people between the age of 18 and 60 with the purpose of helping people to accumulate funds to meet their different financial goals," explained the MD of the solution that offers tax-free lump sum payment upon maturity.

Through it, the company hopes to bridge the savings gap that exists among younger Kenyans and thus contribute in building their financial success.

"The lack of tailor-made savings products has hindered many people earning an income from realising their goals and aspirations. As we launch Hakika, we are telling Kenyans that they no longer have to hold back their dreams because of financial constraints," Mr Otieno assured.

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