NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9- The I&M Bank has introduced its bancassurance segment, I&M Insurance, after partnering with Jubilee Insurance and Gateway Assurance companies.
I&M Bank CEO Arun Mathur says the move will allow the customers to have access to a wide range of insurance solutions via its retail network across the country.
“The strategic alliance builds on the strong presence, complementary strengths and established bancassurance capabilities of I&M Bank, Jubilee Insurance and Gateway Assurance, both in Kenya and around the region,” Mathur said.
The new partnership is expected to deliver value to I&M Bank clients, who stand to benefit from the bank’s advisory capabilities and market-leading insurance solutions of the two insurers.
Mathur however noted that although insurance companies in the country had experienced impressive growth over the years, the reluctance by many Kenyans to take up insurance is still experienced in all sectors of the economy.
“More often, insurances is taken for loan protection purposes and regulatory compliance and not for personal protection. This position should be reversed by increasing awareness of insurance and its benefits among Kenyans and encouraging them to take personal insurances such as house holders, personal accident, child education, personal pensions etc,” Mathur noted.
He said I&M will work closely with underwriters in the industry, to drive higher uptake of insurance products and services among bank customers and Kenyans at large through our network of 30 branches across the country.”
Deputy Commissioner of Insurance Agnes Ndirangu who presided over the launch lauded the move saying limited channel had hindered the growth of insurance uptake in the country.
“For a population of more than 40 million people, a network of 140 insurance brokers is not enough and that explains why the penetration is still very low – at below 4percent signifying massive headroom for growth and entry of new players like banks,” Ndirangu said, “as the regulator, we would like to appeal to leaders and operators in the sector to harness the growth opportunities and to think forward and develop innovative products that will serve more Kenyans.”