Jubilee Insurance CEO Patrick Tumbo. Photo/File
By MERCY GAKII
UPTAKE of life insurance is on the rise and is set to challenge that of general insurance products as income levels rise, according to an expert in the industry.
Jubilee Insurance chief executive Patrick Tumbo said an increasing middle class and upper middle class numbers, spurred by higher earnings are looking for insurance products where they can invest their money.
Life insurance has low penetration rates in the country, with around 500,000 actively financed policies, according to Jubilee Insurance. Life insurance makes only 1.3 per cent out of the 3.5 per cent insurance penetration in the country, and includes pension and group life covers.
Tumbo said wrong perceptions in the 1990s that African populations would be wiped out by the AIDS scourge, led to a flop in buying of life insurance covers and saw several international insurance businesses close shop in Kenya.
“Some of the insurance companies that had closed down operations in Kenya are now coming back, to get a piece of the emerging market. They have realised that Kenya is a fast growing market and that people are not dying,” he said yesterday.
He said the devolved system of governance in the country is among factors that have renewed interest in buying of life insurance, as information, resources and manpower reach the counties.
Technology brought innovative methods of paying insurance premiums such as mobile money, while customised products with added benefits such as cash payments at intervals are encouraging the uptake of life insurance products in the country, said Tumbo.
He son the sidelines of the launch of a referral model bancassurance partnership with Diamond Trust Bank.
DTB retail customers will be referred to Jubilee Insurance experts when buying life insurance policies. General insurance and credit life will however be sold through DTB agency to its customers.