Insurance is a key backup to have in case of a loss in the future. It is not possible to predict the future. However, with insurance coverage, you get more confidence. Although there are many insurance providers in the country, below is a list of the top 10 best insurance companies in Kenya.
Currently, there are 62 insurers and reinsurers in the Kenyan market with general insurance such as car insurance accounting for 60% of the market.
What is Insurance?
Insurance is a legal contract between 2 parties (the insurer and the insured) where the insured make regular premium payments to the insured.
In exchange, the insurer covers the loss incurred in the event of the insured risk. For example, if you take up car insurance, you will make regular monthly payments to the insurance company and in the event of an accident, the insurance company will cover the repair or loss costs.
Benefits of taking Insurance cover in Kenya
Below are some of the most important benefits of taking up insurance cover.
- Cover against future uncertainties
Since nobody is certain of the future, it is necessary to mitigate future loss. Hence, taking up an insurance cover ensures you are covered against incidents like fire, accidents, death of loved ones, etc.
In case of a loss, the insurance helps to cover most of the losses ensuring you are not financially exposed.
- Peace of mind
Another benefit of taking up insurance cover is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are fully covered in the event of an insured risk occurring. This comes only at a small expense of a monthly premium to the insurance company.
- Comfortable retirement
After you retire, you will no longer receive a monthly paycheck. However, through measures such as pension insurance scheme, it guarantees a regular and stable source of income even after retirement. This allows you to live a comfortable life in your sunset years.
- Cashflow management
Since insurance covers you against financial losses, it helps you manage your cash flow as you will not have to use your money in case of a loss.
- Promotes saving culture
Taking up insurance cover requires you to set aside money every month to pay the insurance company. With this in mind, you will adopt the habit of saving money to pay the insurance company which further enhances your saving culture.
- Reducing social burden
Having insurance coverage reduces the burden of having uncompensated accident victims. It also reduces the burden of society and the community having to contribute money to cater for medical expenses in what is popularly known in Kenya as ‘harambees’.
Types of insurance covers in Kenya
Insurance in Kenya is classified into 2 main categories: General insurance and Life insurance.
· General insurance
It is also known as non-life insurance. It consists of all the insurance types that are considered/ associated with life insurance. General insurance is usually for short periods, typically 1 year. The common general insurance in Kenya includes:
- Motor insurance– It covers costs in case of car accidents or theft of the vehicle. Can either be for private vehicles or commercial vehicles. In Kenya, all vehicles are expected to have a 3rd party car insurance which covers the costs 3rd parties (pedestrians and other vehicle owners) in the event of a car accident.
- Personal accident insurance – It provides compensation in the case of injuries, death, or disabilities incurred during the duration of the insurance policy. An employer can also take up this cover on behalf of his/her employees.
- Medical insurance – It covers medical expenses incurred by the insured and their dependents. In Kenya, the biggest medical cover provider is NHIF. Here is a list of all NHIF offices in Kenya.
- Marine insurance – This covers loss or damage incurred on marine vessels such as boats, and cargo ships while in transit on water.
- Fire insurance – It covers any loss or damage to property caused by fire.
- Work Injury Benefits (WIBA) – it provides financial compensation to employees in the event of accidents, injuries, disabilities, or death incurred while at work. This is a mandatory insurance cover that all employers must take according to Kenyan law.
- Theft insurance – it covers any loss or damage caused by theft of insured property.
- Education insurance – it covers the cost of funding a child’s educational expenses.
· Life Assurance
Life assurance is a long-term contract (longer than one year) between an insured and an insurer based on the life of the insured. Common types of life insurance contracts in Kenya include:
- Ordinary life insurance – It comprises term, whole life, and endowment life policies.
- Pension/retirement plans – This is an insurance cover that pays a regular or lumpsum amount to the insured after retirement. Can either be taken up by an individual or by the employer.
- Funeral insurance – it is an insurance policy that caters to the funeral expenses of the insured and their dependents.
- Group life insurance – it is a group life insurance scheme that is normally taken by the employer on behalf of the employees.
Insurance regulation in Kenya
Insurance Industry in Kenya is regulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) through the Insurance Act and its attendant Guidelines/Regulations. IRA is responsible for licensing, regulating, and developing the insurance sector in Kenya.
The Pensions business within the insurance industry is regulated by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) through the Retirement Benefits Act.
Top 10 best insurance companies in Kenya
Below is a list of the top 10 insurance companies in Kenya.
1. CIC Insurance
CIC Insurance Group Limited, commonly referred to as CIC Group, is a top insurance and investment group that operates in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Malawi. It started as an insurance agency within the Kenya National Federation of Co-operatives (KNFC) in 1968 and was incorporated and licensed as Co-operative Insurance Services Ltd (CIS) in 1978.
Their offices are in Reinsurance Plaza, Mezzanine Floor Aga Khan Walk, Nairobi.
CIC Insurance Group listed its shares by introduction at the Nairobi Securities Exchange on Thursday 19th July 2012. CIC commenced regional expansion in 2013 by making an entry into Southern Sudan. In 2014, they entered the Malawi and Uganda markets.
Some of the awards held by CIC Insurance Group include AKI Group Life Company of the Year since 2015, the Best Motor Insurer at the Cheki Awards 2020, and the Decade of Excellence Insurance Kenya 2021 Award. CIC Insurance was also one of the first cooperative insurance entities to be listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
Some of the products offered by the CIC Insurance company include motor insurance, personal accident cover, life assurance, home insurance, WIBA, fire insurance, and property insurance.
2. Jubilee Insurance
Jubilee Insurance was established as the first incorporated Insurance Company in Mombasa in August 1937. They opened offices in Mauritius in 1952 and have over time grown to become one of the top Insurance companies in the region with offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Mauritius.
The company listed its public shares in 1984. Jubilee is recognized as the largest Composite Insurer in East Africa with over 450,000 clients. The offices are in Jubilee Insurance Centre, Wabera Street. P. O. Box 30376 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
It is also listed in 3 stock exchange markets: Nairobi Securities Exchange, Dar-es-Salaam Stock Exchange, and the Uganda Securities Exchange.
Some of the products offered by Jubilee Insurance company include health insurance, life assurance, motor insurance, travel insurance, personal accident cover, WIBA, home insurance cover, burglary, and fire& associated perils cover.
Britam is a leading financial services group, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The group’s operations commenced in Kenya in 1965 with the opening of the first office in Nairobi as a foreign branch of British-American Insurance Company Limited, headquartered in the Bahamas.
The offices for Britam insurance are in Britam Head Office, Mara/Ragati junction Upperhill
In 2011, the shares of British-American Investments Company were listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange through an initial public offering (IPO).
Britam has interests across the Eastern and Southern Africa region, with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique, and Malawi. They offer a wide range of financial products and services in Insurance including Life Assurance, Retirement Planning, General Insurance, Health Insurance, and Property Insurance.
According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) released in 2019, Britam Life Assurance was ranked first in market share with 24.7%.
4. ICEA Lion
The ICEA Lion group is a member of the First Chartered Securities (FCS), a private investment holding company with interests in financial services, logistics, real estate, manufacturing, and agriculture.
The insurance company has grown to become one of the largest financial service providers in the region with operations in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Their offices are in ICEA LION Centre, Riverside Park on Chiromo Road, Westlands, Nairobi. P.O.Box 46143-00100 Nairobi
The ICEA LION Insurance Holdings Group was formed when the Insurance Company of East Africa Limited (ICEA) and Lion of Kenya Insurance Company Limited (LOK) merged in 2011. The merger made ICEA-LION general insurance company one of the largest and strongest players in the Kenyan insurance sector because of the strength of the combined balance sheets of the two companies.
The ICEA Lion General Insurance Company and the ICEA Lion Life Assurance Company are subsidiary companies of the ICEA Lion group.
Some of the products offered include motor insurance, domestic package, travel insurance, WIBA, contractors’ all-risk, personal accident covers, and life assurance.
5. APA Insurance Company
APA insurance company is part of the Apollo Investment Group and was founded in 1977 with a mission to provide present and future peace of mind to the East African market and, in turn, enhance the quality of life for both clients and their loved ones.
Their offices are in Apollo Centre 07 Ring Road Parklands, Westlands P.O. Box 30065 -00100 Nairobi.
APA Insurance Kenya was formed after the merger of the general insurance businesses of Apollo Insurance Company and Pan Africa Insurance. In 2010 Apollo Insurance separated its Life Insurance business to Apollo Life Assurance Limited. In 2013, Apollo Life Assurance Ltd rebranded to APA Life Assurance Limited.
APA insurance received 11 awards in the 2019 Think Business awards including The Most Customer-Centric Underwriter (General) and the best Insurance Company in Customer Satisfaction (Medical and General).
Some of the products offered by the APA insurance companies include travel insurance, motor insurance, personal accident cover, home insurance, pet insurance cover, health cover, education plan, funeral expenses cover, Individual pension cover, and life cover.
6. Madison Insurance
Madison Group Limited is a locally owned financial services holding company that specializes in Insurance and wealth management services. The Group comprises Madison Life Assurance Kenya Limited, Madison General Insurance Kenya Limited, and Madison Investment Managers Limited.
Their offices are in Madison Insurance House, Upper Hill Close P.O. Box 41163 – 00100 Nairobi.
Madison Life Assurance Kenya was originally incorporated under Kenyan Laws in 1988 as Madison Insurance Company Limited (MICK) after a successful merger between Crusader Plc (1974) and Kenya Commercial Insurance Corporation.
In 2018, MICK demerged into two separate companies – Madison General and Madison Life. Madison Life Assurance now underwrites the life assurance business only while Madison General underwrites the general insurance business.
Some of the products offered by the Madison Insurance companies include personal accident cover, travel insurance cover, motor insurance cover, burglary insurance, marine insurance, fire policy, and life assurance.
7. AAR Insurance
AAR Insurance Kenya is a leading medical and general insurance company that provides innovative underwriting solutions to individuals, families, and businesses.
It started its operations in 1984 with its primary business being medical evacuations of accident casualties both by road and by air and they launched their services in Nairobi in 1991. AAR Kenya expanded into healthcare services by becoming a medical insurance provider in 1991.
AAR won the medical underwriter award of the year from 2015 to 2019 making it one of the best medical underwriters in the country. Their office is in Real Towers, Ground Floor, Hospital Road, Upper Hill.
Some of the services offered by AAR Insurance include personal accident cover, school insurance cover, travel insurance, marine insurance, WIBA cover, and medical insurance.
8. UAP old mutual
UAP Old Mutual Group is now Old Mutual East Africa Group. The Old Mutual East Africa Group comprises Old Mutual Holdings PLC (formerly UAP Holdings PLC) and its subsidiaries.
Some of these include Old Mutual General Insurance Kenya Limited (formerly UAP Insurance Company Limited) and Old Mutual Life Assurance Kenya Limited (formerly UAP Life Assurance Limited)
Their offices are in Old Mutual Building, Corner ofMara/Hospital Roads, Upper Hill. P.O. Box 30059- 00100 Nairobi.
The Old Mutual East Africa Group was formed in 2015 after Old mutual East Africa Holdings Group Limited acquired a controlling stake in Faulu Microfinance Bank in 2014 and Old Mutual Holdings PLC (formerly UAP Holdings Limited) in 2015.
The Group operates an integrated financial services business model and is one of the largest in East Africa, offering insurance, investment, banking, and savings solutions. Old Mutual East Africa Group rebranded from UAP Old Mutual Group on the 17th of May 2022.
The Old Mutual East Africa Group operates in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Some of the products offered by the Old Mutual Insurance companies include health insurance, car insurance, travel insurance, disability, and critical illness cover.
9. GA insurance
GA Insurance Limited is one of the oldest insurance companies operating in Kenya underwriting all classes of general and medical insurance. The company has its parentage from General Accident UK and has been operating in East Africa for over 70 years. It was incorporated as a Kenyan Insurance Company in 1979.
Their offices are on the 4th Floor, GA Insurance House, Ralph Bunche Road, Nairobi. They have 3 branches in Westlands, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
In 2006, the company was acquired by the promoters of I&M Bank Group in Kenya. GA Insurance Limited launched its fully-owned life insurance subsidiary in June 2013, ‘GA Life Assurance Limited’. The company offers Life Insurance and Retirement Benefit solutions.
GA started its regional expansion in 2014 by entering the Tanzanian market with GA Insurance Tanzania Limited. The company made an entry into Uganda in 2019 with a 100% acquisition of a local company which is now operating as GA Insurance Uganda Limited
Some of the products offered by GA insurance include motor insurance cover, travel insurance cover, pet insurance cover, personal accident cover, fire insurance cover, marine insurance, health insurance cover, and life assurance cover.
10. Liberty Life Kenya
Liberty Life Kenya Ltd has provided insurance services in Kenya since 1964. It is a subsidiary of Liberty Kenya Holdings Plc which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Liberty Kenya Holdings Plc is also the holding company for The Heritage Insurance Company Kenya Ltd.
Their offices are in Liberty House, Processional Way, Nairobi
Liberty life assurance won life insurer of the year in 2019 and 2020 at the Think Business Awards. Some of the products offered by Liberty Life Assurance Company include education cover, individual pension plans, life assurance, disability, and critical illness covers.
Taking up insurance covers gives you peace of mind even in the event when the insured risk occurs. Therefore, if you are looking to take up insurance cover in Kenya, here is a recap of the top 10 best insurance companies in Kenya.
- CIC insurance
- Jubilee Insurance
- ICEA Lion insurance
- APA insurance company
- Madison Insurance
- AAR insurance
- UAP Old Mutual Insurance
- GA insurance
- Liberty Life Assurance