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AMREF, Chartis offer tourists local insurance cover

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Kenya has signed an underwriting agreement with insurance provider Chartis to provide cover for tourists visiting Kenya.

Chartis Insurance Managing Director Japh Olende said they will underwrite the flying doctors’ air ambulance service to in-bound tourist, individuals and corporate clients within the East African region.

“A number of tourists come here without any form of insurance. If our tour operators are able to sell travel insurance in their packages, it will widen the tourism product that we are selling. Tourists are getting it elsewhere in the world, but now it is available in the East African region thanks to AMREF,” Olende stated.

AMREF’s Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director Bettina Vadera said customers will be able to subscribe for the package through an online platform.

“It is our interests to make our new products available to as many people as possible and if you don’t go the e-commerce way today, you are losing a large market worldwide. Subscriptions will be relevant to those who do not live in cities where there are adequate medical facilities,” Vadera affirmed.

The signing of the underwriting agreement is part of an on-going programme by AMREF Flying Doctors to expand and streamline its 55-year-old air ambulance service and is aimed at reaching more individuals and groups with affordable and high quality services.

Olende also added that the insurance sector is anticipating a very positive year.

Olende said the industry is poised for growth despite a slowdown due to the interest’s rates and inflation.

“We are very bullish about what the economy is going to bring this year. The outlook for this year is very positive for the sector,” he stated.

He added that this being an election year, there will be a rush for more insurance protection.

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“When people feel insecure, that is when there is a rise for insurance protection. We see there is a short window where people will take out more insurance packages as people will try to protect themselves against violence,” said Olende.

He further stated that the increase in insurance penetration can be attributed to government regulation.

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