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IRA develops policy to scale up insurance cover

Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has developed a policy to scale up insurance cover in the informal sector.

The Micro Insurance Policy targets to net 38 million Kenyans who are not covered at the same time boost uptake of insurance across the country.

Erick K’omollo, an officer at IRA Technical Department, said the policy maps out the future path and regulation of micro insurance business in the country.

This, he said, will address the gap in the provision of insurance services in the country since those with small earnings were not adequately catered for by conventional insurance.

Through the policy, he added Micro Insurance Companies shall be established to roll out special tailored products for the sector.

IRA, he disclosed, has already invited bids from qualified companies and was currently processing the applications. “We have already received applications and we look to have the first Micro Insurance Company in place before the end of this financial year,” he said.

K’omollo said IRA targets to license a second Micro insurance company in due course to meet the demand for the services and scale up the uptake of insurance in the country.

“We have 38 million Kenyans who do not have any form of insurance cover and they are the ones we are targeting through this initiative,” he said.

Among those targeted, he said, are small scale farmers, boda boda operators and those working in the informal sector who can manage to pay a small premium to get insurance cover.

“We want small scale farmers in the village to know the importance of insurance. That sparing a few coins from their produce to get insurance cover can cushion them against losses in the event of weather failure,” he said.

Speaking during a round table meeting with the media in Kisumu, K’omollo said the IRA had embarked on a sensitisation drive across the country to enlighten Kenyans on the need to take up insurance.

IRA Head of Corporate Communications Noela Mutanda, said the drive, dubbed Bima Mashinani, targets to take the insurance message to the grassroots to ensure that more Kenyans are covered.

The campaign, she added, also targets to get the perspective of Kenyans on the insurance sector in the country so that the regulator can address some of the emerging concerns.

“Consumer education is important in the drive to scale up the uptake of insurance. We are therefore talking to boda boda people, tuk tuk drivers and even boat owners to drive this message home,” she said.

“We are also using vernacular radio stations and chiefs’ barazas so as to reach people in a language that they understand,” she added.

By Chris Mahandara and Lorine Awino

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