Kenya insurance industry to record fastest growth

By O’brien Kimani

Kenya’s insurance industry is projected to grow the fastest in Sub Saharan Africa according to a report by financial services firm Ernst and Young.

The firm says the sector will expand by an annualized rate of six percent with general insurance driving the growth.

Ernst and Young leader of Actuarial services Sujay Shah however says stakeholders need to tap into technology to drive growth.

Kenya’s growth in premiums is contrasted with the Africa-wide growth of only 4.2 per cent.

Premiums in Nigeria are expected to quadruple in the next five years.

In Ghana, which began extracting oil two years ago, the life insurance market is estimated to grow at 40 per cent annually.

In the African continent, South Africa leads with the highest insurance premiums per capita averaging at 92,500 shillings while Kenya stands at 3,900 shillings.

The firm says Kenyan companies need to merge in order to make the market more competitive and attractive.

There are 49 insurance players in Kenya serving less than 10 percent of the Kenyan population.

For the last 10 years insurance growth in Kenya has averaged 5 percent as the government and the private sector move to align the industry with emerging trends.

In the recent past, Kenyan insurance companies have been expanding into the East Africa market and diversifying into other areas which is a sign of a thriving sector.