Kenyan insurance sector weighed by fraudsters

July 2, 2012
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Heritage Insurance Company’s Senior Claims Manager Boniface Irungu estimated that insurance companies were paying up to 40 percent of claims to fraudsters/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – An insurance industry player is now proposing the creation of special courts to deal with fraudsters who are crippling the sector.

Heritage Insurance Company’s Senior Claims Manager Boniface Irungu estimated that insurance companies were paying up to 40 percent of claims to fraudsters

.

Speaking while presenting a Sh22.7 million payment to Cimbria East Africa Limited as claims after a fire incident, Irungu revealed that Heritage faces at least five fake claims per month.

“We are hoping that once they start arresting, prosecuting convicting and jailing these fraudsters we are going to see a reduction because currently the punishment mechanism is not there,“ he said while appealing to the Insurance Regulatory Authority to spearhead the action.

On his part, the insurer’s Executive Director Joseph Kyungu challenged the insurance industry to invest in creating awareness on the importance buying Insurance covers.

Insurance uptake by Kenyans stands at three percent, which he said is the highest in the East African Community region.

“The public must be educated on the importance of insurance. Otherwise you still find that we have people with a lot of valuable assets which are not insured, because they don’t understand the sector and also the negative belief that insurance companies don’t pay. This is not the case,” said Kyungu.

He said there is also need for the companies to be clear on the exact product they are offering, for clients to give the right information.

“For example you have a matatu, and then you insure it as a private car. In the event of a loss, that vehicle will not be paid because you have misrepresented the information,” Kyungu explained.

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