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The bail out comes at a time when the retailer is engaged in what is perhaps its fiercest fight for survival after a High Court ruling that paved way for its liquidation/FILE

Kenya

Insurance available at Uchumi outlets

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Shoppers at Uchumi Supermarkets will now be able to purchase insurance products from the retailer’s outlets.

This is follows a joint venture with Starlit Insurance Brokers Limited.

Dubbed Shillings and Sense shops, the outlets will enable individuals or organisations to buy insurance seven days a week between 9am and 9pm.

Speaking during the launch, Uchumi Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano said the partnership is an opportunity for the supermarket chain to diversify its offerings by bringing insurance convenience to its customers.

“Gone are the days when supermarkets sold just milk, bread and vegetables. Over the last few years, we have also sold hardware, fridges and cooking gas; and more recently facilitated mobile money top ups and cash withdrawals, to make the shopping experience more wholesome and convenient,” he said.

The outlets will initially offer personal and corporate insurance solutions ranging from motor and home insurance to medical and life insurance.

Customers have the option of paying their premiums by cash, cheque, Airtel Money and credit card for now, with M-Pesa, yuCash and Orange Money payments yet to be established.

Most of the insurance policies available at Shillings and Sense will be issued immediately, also allowing for premium payments in instalments.

Starlit Director Neil Ribeiro said the insurance dukas will eventually expand into providing other financial solutions such as Agency Banking and remittance solutions.

“As soon as we get the go ahead from the relevant regulators, the outlets will offer other financial solutions making the Dukas mini-financial hubs,” he said.

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So far there are two Shilling and Sense outlets at the Uchumi Langata and Capital Centre branches with plans to open four more in Kenya next year and eventually to Uganda and Tanzania.

Starlit will also conduct Saturday workshops at the outlets to educate the public on insurance issues such as the Third Party Property Damage clause.

Despite a 25 percent growth in the local insurance sector last year Kenya’s insurance penetration still registers poorly at three percent.

The penetration threshold for emerging markets is about 2.5 percent, compared to developed markets at about six percent.

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