, KISII, Kenya, Nov 27 — Local non-bank financial services firm Sanlam Kenya has stepped up its market development efforts to raise the local insurance penetration rates through corporate partnerships.
As part of the efforts, Sanlam Kenya is pursuing corporate agreements with leading local firms to facilitate life and general insurance premium payments via check off systems.
Riding on the Sanlam PayPoint platform linked directly to corporate and institutional organisations, the firm will manage to securely receive insurance premiums voluntarily deducted on a check off system from its customers.
Speaking in Kisii during a corporate partners forum, Sanlam Kenya Group Managing Director, Mr. Mugo Kibati, said the firm has adopted cutting edge information technology systems to facilitate the running of the innovative check off option for premium payments.
Currently, Sanlam Kenya has established Check-off linkages with more than 700 local firms including savings and co-operative societies, large and small corporates. The firm plans to double the number as it seeks to enhance its corporate efficiency and product distribution capacity.
“At Sanlam Kenya we are borrowing heavily from our group and global best practices. In many developing countries, insurance premium payments for life and related products are conventionally deducted via check off systems,” Kibati said.
The firm, he added, has also enhanced its partnerships with leading local banking institutions, which are providing quality bancassurance services powered by Sanlam Kenya.
During the function, the Kisii County Government, announced plans to integrate risk management solutions as part of its social-economic development plans.
According to Kisii Governor James Ongwae, the integration of risk management solutions such as commercial insurance products for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) operators in the County, are currently under consideration.
The Kisii Governor, in a speech read on his behalf by the Kisii County Government Chief of Staff, Mr. Henry Nyanchoka, noted that the poor adoption of insurance products by SMEs has continued to impoverish local traders.
The role of non-bank financial services, he said, cannot be wished away in a growing economy. In my view, such services including life and general insurance products provide a most important safeguard to the various risks we face everyday.
Such products provide a recovery path for our hardworking SME’s and even individuals engaging in business.
Citing the case of the recent 11-storey building collapse in Kisii town, Ongwae expressed regret that local traders continue to suffer heavy losses with minimal recourse to commercially available risk management options.
The Governor expressed regret that almost all the victims at the site, including the small-scale traders had no insurance cover to manage the risk and now face a very bleak future. Families left behind by breadwinners, he said, have been left economically and socially destitute while traders who had leased space at the building are now facing unmanageable losses and obligations including bank loans.
“Even as we mourn our departed brothers and sisters, we must continue to ask the hard questions and seek to institute measures that can mitigate and manage the effects of such risks,” the Governor said adding that, “For this reason, I have directed my Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to consider seeking a viable option to compel all small and Medium Enterprises in Kisii County to consider holding insurance covers for risk management,” Ongwae explained.
On his part, Sanlam Kenya Group CEO Mr. Mugo Kibati confirmed the availability of suitable insurance underwriting products, which can help alleviate risks that continue to face SMEs among other economic sectors.
As a key player in the Kenyan insurance sector, Sanlam Kenya, Kibati assured is now attuned to play its part in the overall effort to raise the national insurance penetration rates starting from County level solutions.