Car insurance is a mandatory class of insurance for all motor vehicles operating on public roads as per the Kenyan laws. This explains why this class of insurance business is one of the biggest if not the biggest line for most general insurance companies.
Unfortunately it is also the class of business that experiences the highest number of claims as a result of accidental damage and theft of motor vehicles. In this article, we examine the different types of car insurances, categories of cars (based on use) and lastly the top car insurance companies in the Kenyan market. Every car/motor bike owner in Kenya requires some form of insurance cover, when choosing the insurance company, it helps to select the best and biggest providers to make sure you are getting peace of mind.
Types of Car Insurance in Kenya
There are three types of car insurance in the Kenyan market :
Comprehensive insurance is the recommended cover for most vehicles and covers the insured asset (vehicle) and all third party liabilities as well. It covers the vehicle against accidental damage and theft, fire, floods and storms among others. The most common optional add-ons for this cover are the excess protector for own damage and also the political violence and terrorism rider.
Third Party Only (TPO)
This the most basic type of cover as mandated by Cap 405. Act Title: Insurance (Motor Vehicle Third Party Risks). For all motor vehicles operating on Kenyan roads, this is the minimum level of insurance cover required. As the name suggests, it only covers the insured against third party persons and property liabilities. This is the commonest car insurance being the most affordable. In addition it is the only insurance suitable and offered for old or low value cars.
Categories of vehicles
These are the cars for individuals, families and organisations which used for private and social purposes e.g. commuting to work, taking children to school
These are vehicles normally used by businesses for official purpose e.g. lorries for construction sites, pickups for ferrying goods etc
PSV Self & Chauffeur Driven
These are most commonly the saloon cars used to ferry fare paying passengers and are common with registered taxis, airport taxis, online ride hailing apps like Taxify, UBER, etc
These are the public service vehicles comprised of mini buses and various sizes of buses. They are the main means of public transport in most urban centres. They require a specific type of insurance from other PSV vehicles. For a detailed breakdown of psv Matatu insurance covers, check out this blog post.
This category comprises of tractors, graders, cranes, mixers, excavators and other specialised vehicles used in various types of construction.
CIC is the undisputed king of motor insurance in Kenya topping the premium tables for both private and commercial motor insurance as at end of 2017. It underwrote a total premium of KSh 2.9 Billions comprising of 2.4 B of motor private and 2.5 B of motor commercial insurance. It is one of the most financially solid insurance companies, listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) and has branches all across the country.
With such a large share of the motor insurance, it unsurprisingly also suffered a combined underwriting loss of close to KSh 560 millions
Total premium: KSh 4.9 Billions
After the merger of UAP and Old Mutual, the company has become a financial services powerhouse spanning the entire region. It offers services from asset management, life and medical insurance, general insurance, savings and deposit takings, micro-finance and a whole host of others. For the year ended 2017, it underwrote a total premium of KSh 2.7 Billions with 1.7 Billions coming from the private motor class. During the same year, it launched its innovative EasyDirect product, a unique direct channel for customers to buy their car insurances online. It suffered a loss of over KSh 165 million in the motor book mainly caused by the loss of KSh 400 millions in the motor private insurance book.
Total Premium: KSh 2.7 Billion
BRITAM is a heavy weight across the financial services spectrum in Kenya and in the region. It underwrote premiums of KSH 2.6 Billions for the motor book. This was finely divided between the private and commercial classes. Similar to competitors it also suffered a loss of close to KSh 595 billions from this class of business. From its leadership in the life insurance business, BRITAM has managed to ride on that to grow its general business lines through a mix of mergers and acquisition and business expansion.
Total Premium: KSh 2.6 Billions
APA insurance is another brand that has used its powerful life insurance and asset management brand to grow its general business line and medical insurances. In the last 5 years, APA as emerged into the pack of top general insurance providers. It underwrote a premium of KSh 2.3 Billions finely split in the private and commercial segments. Surprisingly, it made an underwriting profit of close to KSh 160 millions making it one of the most profitable car insurance companies in Kenya. APA has a long track record of strict underwriting, it has shied away from risky business lines and the industry malpractice of price undercutting.
Premium: KSh 2.3 Billions
Jubilee is the biggest brand in the insurance market here in Kenya and in the region having just celebrated its 80 years anniversary. Jubilee car insurance falls down a number of steps in the rankings having been top in the previous year. It underwrote a premium of KSh 2 Billions with just under KSh 1.3 Billions coming from the private motor insurance book. Unlike its competitors, Jubilee made an underwriting profit of KSh 110 millions for the motor business.
Premium: KSh 2 Billions
Invesco & Directline Assurance
These are the only 2 general insurance companies in the market that offer cover for the notorious MATATU segment. Due to the high-risk nature of the industry, only two insurance companies own 100% of the market to be able to generate sufficiently large premiums to cushion the risk.
Invesco earned KSh 2.9 Billions from this class alone while Directline underwrote a premium of KSh 1.9 Billions for the commercial motor segment.
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