Local insurance broker capitalize on diaspora market

Kenyan insurance brokerage firm, Dovenest has curved a niche for the diaspora market as more Kenyans living abroad continue to invest in policies back at home.

This is in the wake of a push by the government, through the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) and local companies to grow insurance penetration to above the current 2.43 per cent and a coverage of nine per cent.

According to Dovenest Insurance Brokers Limited CEO, Kennedy Mong’are, there has been growing demand for insurance products by Kenyans in the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden and South Africa, who are seeking to cover property and families back in Kenya.

“Diaspora market is mostly going for medical cover for their families and funeral expenses for their loved ones which is reducing the traditional family and friends’ fundraisings. A number are also covering properties around the country,” Mong’are noted.

Lack of trust and low public education on insurance products has hindered growth of the sector, according to Mong’are who is leading the company in both local and online campaigns to educate the masses on the need to invest in insurance.

“There is mistrust when it comes to insurance something as an industry we need to change. The market need to know the products they are getting without any hidden clauses, and ultimately get the rightful compensation when time comes,” he said during an online forum with Kenyans abroad.

The broker has partnered with more than 30 insurance firms in the country where there are a total of 56 companies, to drive uptake of insurance products.

These range from general insurance, life, health, education, motor, diaspora and last expense insurance, which it has incorporated Covid-19 as part of the package mainly covering funerals.

“The client should get covers that are meaningful and reflect to their needs,” he noted.

Insurance density is currently at Sh4, 525 according to IRA with the value of Gross Premium Income quoted at Sh216.26 billion.

The market has about 10,457 agents and 229 insurance and reinsurance brokers who are playing a critical role in driving sales.

Dovenest is keen to tap at least 10 per cent of the more than three million Kenyans abroad, in the short-term, with a keen eye to also have presence in the East Africa region.

According to the Foreign Affairs ministry, the diaspora “possesses immense resources which can greatly contribute to the transformation of our country as envisaged in the Kenya Vision 2030.”

According to a Commonwealth report-Kenyan Diaspora Survey, 28 per cent of Kenyans in the diaspora are interested in insurance products with the highest of 46 per cent preferring the stock market.

“Savings and deposit accounts are the most commonly held type of saving or investment in Kenya, with over two in five (42%) reporting this. A quarter (24%) of diaspora members interviewed also report that they currently hold stocks and shares in Kenya, “the survey reads in part.

Considerably fewer report that they currently hold government bonds (15%), insurance products (13%) or own a business (11%). Notably, two in five (41%) say that they hold no form of saving or investment in Kenya at all.



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