•Unlike the low income earners, high income earners especially those in formal employment are covered by their employers against major risks, in particular hospital admissions.
•Britam said it has adopted a two prompt strategy to make the purchase of insurance simple.
Britam Holdings now targets low income earners to increase insurance uptake even as it marks paying Sh3 billion in health and life claims to customers since 2015.
The company’s Emerging Consumer Business Director Saurabh Sharma said many Kenyans, especially smallholder farmers and small businesses, could not afford insurance covers currently offered in the Kenyan market
While quoting the Finaccess household survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya, Sharma noted that for the lower income segments, insurance penetration is one third of what it is in the higher income segment.
“This clearly shows the huge protection gap. These are the communities that need insurance more than others,” Sharma said.
Unlike the low income earners, high income earners especially those in formal employment are covered by their employers against major risks, in particular hospital admissions.
Low income earners, on the other hand are largely affected by risk events including hospital admissions, loss of a loved one, or business interruptions such as fires and theft.
“On the supply side, most insurance companies focus on offering their products on corporate clients and those with money. On the demand side, many Kenyans do not understand how insurance works, so they do not trust them,” Sharma said.
Through their Emerging Customers Business, Britam has resolved to offer simplified solutions to capture a market that has largely been ignored.
“The Emerging Customers Business is a business on its own through which we solely focus on the everyday Kenyan, not the high net worth Kenyans,” Sharma said
To implement the new strategy, Britam said it has adopted a two prompt strategy to make the purchase of insurance simple. Sharma said that through the strategy,they have introduced simple products that have minimum terms and conditions.
“We are working with telecommunications companies, ride-hailing companies and e-commerce companies to reach more people,” he said.
For instance, the company is working with farmers’ associations to reach smallholder farmers in the country. Its other key partners include health financing technology firm M-Tiba and ride hailing app Little.
“With the ride hailing apps for instance, we are working together to promote insurance services that are as low as Sh5 of Sh 10 per day,” Sharma said,adding that they had already sold one million policies, effectively covering the policy holders and their families.
Sharma said the model was working, adding that Britam has paid more than Sh400 million in claims on an average every year to the most vulnerable customer groups such as low income families and small businesses. -