Britam's marine underwriting helps customers ship cargo seamlessly

In 2022 alone, the firm underwrote Sh618 million in Gross Written Premiums.

In Summary
  • It also allows secure online payments via M-Pesa and guarantees a 100% automated back office.
  • Marine insurance recorded a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.02% for the last five years.
Britam Tower in Nairobi
Britam Tower in Nairobi

Britam is positioning itself as Kenya’s largest marine underwriter and is consistently innovating to enable customers to ship cargo seamlessly and securely.

In 2022 alone, the insurance firm underwrote Sh618 million in Gross Written Premiums, demonstrating its grip on the capital-intensive niche. 

"Our marine insurance portal empowers customers and intermediaries to procure marine insurance coverage conveniently, free from human intervention or physical paperwork,''Britam General Insurance's principal officer, Jackson Theuri told the Star. 

He added that they have implemented a self-service capability for customers, significantly enhancing the ease of doing business across selling, purchasing, and customer service realms.

As a result, shipping has become more cost-effective, adaptable and transparent, resulting in an overall enhanced customer experience.

"Experience a hassle-free journey with our intuitive online portal, empowering you to seamlessly purchase, manage and monitor your marine insurance."

The firm has aided effortless transactions, allowing customers to obtain quotes, purchase coverage and monitor claims effortlessly, anytime, anywhere and on any device. 

It also allows secure online payments via M-Pesa and guarantees a 100 per cent automated back office ensuring that covers are issued seamlessly.

Furthermore, there is real-time claim tracking for complete transparency and peace of mind, with the portal also facilitating proactive risk management by enabling insurers to monitor vessels and foresee potential claims. 

"Collaborations with marine surveyors provide instant updates on vessel movements, accidents and delays, ensuring heightened visibility and reassurance."

According to the firm, seamless integration with the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI's) system and other government agencies expedites goods clearance by eliminating manual certificate verification.

It offers comprehensive marine insurance solutions catering to everyone, from major cargo shippers to individual online shoppers, shielding them from unforeseen financial burdens.

The insurer has defied industry naysayers who argued that local underwriters lacked the financial muscle to navigate the lucrative waters of marine insurance.

"Shippers were anxious about Kenyan insurers’ ability to provide adequate coverage and the right pricing and pay claims swiftly in what is a capital-intensive business,'' Theuri said. 

The debate followed the amendment of Section 20 of the Insurance Act in 2017 requiring cargo importers to use local underwriters for marine insurance.

Marine insurance, one of the oldest forms of insurance and a catalyst for global trade, had come of age in Kenya and underwriters projected brisk business from the multi-billion maritime trade. 

However, the industry has not grown exponentially as earlier thought for several reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic that grounded the shipping industry.

Data from the Association of Kenya Insurers shows that Marine insurance recorded a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.02 per cent for the last five years.

In 2022 alone, the marine insurance class recorded Sh4.68 billion in gross written premiums (GWP), a rise of 14.21 per cent from the previous year.

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