, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Metropolitan Life Insurance has embarked on an expansion program that will see new branches opened in several towns and new products introduced to serve various market needs, according to the Chairman Desterio Oyatsi.
Metropolitan Life has now opened its second branch in Mombasa to add to the Nairobi branch which opened in 2006 when the company, with its roots in South Africa, ventured into the Kenyan market.
Oyatsi, while launching the Mombasa branch assured the Kenyan market that Metropolitan Life had a sound financial base to settle any claims especially having recently merged with South Africa’s MMI Holdings to create the third largest insurance company quoted at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with an asset base of over Sh5.9 trillion.
He said besides Kenya, Metropolitan Life Insurance was also in 12 other countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Mauritius.
“Metropolitan Life is also one of the oldest insurance companies in Africa having been launched in 1898 which in itself is an assurance that the company understands the sector better than the competition,” said Oyatsi.
The Mombasa launch was also addressed by Metropolitan Life Kenya Chief Executive Officer Byford Mutimusakwa and Insurance Regulatory Authority Technical Manager Agnes Ndirangu.
Ndirangu said insurance penetration in the country was still very low at two percent and only represented a mere 2.7 percent of the GDP. She challenged insurance companies to develop new products that would appeal to the emerging market as the existing traditional products might not be in line with their aspirations.
Mutimusakwa said Metropolitan Life will soon unveil new products that are in line with market needs. He said some of the products have been developed purposely to address the needs of the Muslim community and have been endorsed by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM).
The CEO said Mombasa was still starved of certain insurance solutions and Metropolitan Life saw huge opportunities with the introduction of products that are tailor-made to serve the insurance and investment aspirations of the coast population.