Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked insurance c ompanies in the East African nation to consider introducing products aimed at ta c kling the growing risk against piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa region as they seek to expand their market dominance.
He said insurance companies in the country could effectively come up with specia list products covering terrorism and other non-traditional areas, noting that wi t h the reality of piracy in the Indian Ocean and collapse and lawlessness in neig h bouring Somalia, there is an increasing need for specialist insurance products c o vering these areas.
Mr. Odinga was speaking Friday when he officiated at the 30th anniversary celebr ations of the Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) at the company’s headquarters i n Upper hill, Nairobi, a dispatch from the Prime Minister’s Press Service (PMPS)
“The threat of terrorism and emphasis on environmental protection among other th ings have assumed greater importance these days. As Kenya and the region continu e its modernisation and transformation, the level and diversity of risks will mul t iply. It is my hope that success stories like CIC are preparing to meet this cha l lenge,” he said.
“The demand for specialist packages mean that insurers have to be able to make s ound assessments of the risk exposures. It means underwriters and brokers will r e quire in depth knowledge in order to assess the risks comprehensively and accura t ely.
“Those days are already with us and my challenge to CIC and other insurance firm s is; are you ready for the new challenges ahead?” he posed.
Noting that skills cannot be developed merely by reading books, Mr. Odinga asked the insurance companies to combine academic knowledge with real life experience .
He cautioned that insurance companies which want to remain in the business could n’t afford to rely on standard or run-of-the mill models to make judgements, add i ng they had to understand what actually takes place on-site and probably even su g gest some risk mitigating measures for their clients.
The Premier pointed out that cooperative societies were asserting themselves in national life more than ever before, noting where they operate many of the socie t ies have invested in information technology, good workforces and modern business
“They are playing ever growing role in financial services, transport, telecommun ications and other sectors,” he said.
Mr. Odinga reassured that the government would continue to support the cooperati ve movement with appropriate policy and legislation, including taxation policies , registration, regulation of investment and corporate governance.
He commended the CIC for its success, noting that at its incorporation 30 years ago the company’s premiums stood at 3.5 million shillings.
Today the company has grown into a giant insurer with an income premium now esti mated at 2.4 billion shillings.