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AKI sees growth in life insurance business

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) has predicted a 20 to 25 percent growth in life insurance business.

AKI Executive Director Tom Gichuhi explained on Friday that the anticipation was hinged on the impressive run the life insurance business has made in recent years as compared to general insurance.

He said life insurance premiums were growing at a faster rate than general insurance and this would be reflected in the soon-to-be-released 2010 industry statistics.

"This is an indicator that life insurance agents are getting more competitive and doing a great good to the industry and economy at large," Mr Gichuhi said while presiding over an insurance agents\’ forum and award ceremony.

He urged them to do more to help increase the penetration rate which is currently at 2.87 percent of the market.

In earnings terms, life insurance contributes Sh21.4 billion to Kenya\’s GDP which is less than one percent.

Mr Gichuhi said if the industry was to increase it to just five percent; life insurance would become a major factor in national economic development.

The country\’s development blueprint Vision 2030, recognises the role that the insurance industry can play in the social and economic development of the economy and places it as a key pillar towards the realization of the ambitious targets.

"Kenya is already leading in insurance sector growth for productivity within the EAC region. At present, Kenya accounts for 75 percent of the entire insurance premium across the region, with life insurance constituting 34 percent, closely followed by Tanzania at 10 percent. Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi\’s share is still low," he added.

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The convener of AKI Individual Life Committee James Macharia added that the future outlook of the entire insurance industry is bright if the country achieves and sustains the economy at 10 percent growth rate.

The AKI agents forum is organised annually to provide agents with an opportunity to share experiences and learn new skills and strategies of improving on their work performance.

It precedes the evening gala ceremony dubbed AAYA where the leading agents are recognised and presented with tokens for their impressive contributions.

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