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IRA targets 100,000 agents countrywide for training

COMPUTER-USERNAIROBI, Kenya Oct 22 – The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) is targeting to train over 100,000 agents in the country as they seek to deepen insurance penetration.

IRA Commissioner of Insurance Sammy Makove says this will ensure that insurance is available, accessible and convenient up to the village level.

He added that though Kenya’s industry was being touted as a mature market the uptake of policies – especially life insurance – was still very low.

The authority in conjunction with the College of Insurance launched a countrywide training system and so far covered more than 20 counties.

“For a market to be considered mature, life insurance policies should account for at least two thirds of the total policies. In Kenya the industry is largely dominated by general insurance,” said Makove.

Makove was speaking during an occasion to award 32 Standard Chartered Bank frontline staff Executive Certificate of Proficiency in Insurance.

Standard Chartered Bank CEO Lamin Manjang said the bank is targeting to have more than 300 customer facing staff obtain the requisite certification as insurance agents.

“This will help to reinforce our strategy to provide integrated financial services tailored to the life cycle. This training programme is intended to increase our capabilities, the depth of knowledge and the experience to provide and advice on solutions across our client life cycle,” Manjang noted.

The bank entered the Insurance business in mid this year trading under Standard Chartered Insurance Agency in partnership with AIG Kenya Insurance and Pan African Life. Through non-exclusive distribution agreements with the insurance companies, Standard Chartered Insurance Agency offers both Short Term (General Insurance) and Long Term (Life Insurance) products.

Insurance penetration in the country dropped to 2.93 percent in 2014 compared to 3.44 percent in 2013 according to the 2014 industry report by the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI).

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The report attributes the drop to the rebasing of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the period under review.

Combined industry profit before tax decreased by 13 percent to Sh15.46 billion in 2014 against 17.79 billion recorded in 2013.

Overall gross written premiums increased by 20.3 percent in the period under review to Sh157.1 billion compared to Sh130.65billion in 2013.

Gross written premiums for non-life insurance stood at Sh100.24 billion against 86.64 billion in 2014 representing a 15.6 percent growth while that for the life insurance was at Sh56.7 billion against 2013’s Sh44.1 billion, a 29.4 percent growth.

During the period the industry recorded incurred net claims of Sh82.36 billion in 2014, compared to Sh56.47 billion in 2013 representing a 25 percent increase.

In life insurance net claims for 2014 amounted to Sh33.59 billion compared to Sh23.09 billion in 2013 a 45 percent increase.

Net claims incurred in non-life insurance amounted to Sh42.6 billion, a 22.4 percent increase compared to Sh34.8 billion in 2013.

Overall, Industry earnings from investments and other income increased by six percent from Sh42.76 billion in 2013 to Sh45.55 billion in 2014.

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