CIC rises past ICEA to be third-largest insurance firm

Mr Tom Gitogo, CIC deputy group CEO. PHOTO | FILE
Mr Tom Gitogo, CIC deputy group CEO. PHOTO | FILE 

CIC Insurance has overtaken ICEA Lion to become Kenya’s third-largest insurance underwriter by market share as per industry data to the end of September, with Jubilee and Britam maintaining the first and second positions respectively.

The listed insurer, majority-owned by Kenya’s co-operative movement, commanded a share of 9.0 per cent of the industry’s total gross premiums as at September 30, trailing the merged entity of Britam and Real (11.2 per cent) and Jubilee’s 11.9 per cent, according to latest data released by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).

ICEA Lion, owned by the family of former Central Bank of Kenya governor Philip Ndegwa, has now dropped to fourth with a reduced market share of 7.6 per cent from 8.7 per cent in September last year and 8.3 per cent in 2012.

CIC Insurance attributed the growth to its aggressive marketing strategy and use of technology to drive sales of policy covers at lower costs.

‘‘The use of alternative delivery channels continues to enhance market penetration and is a key growth area,’’ said the CIC deputy group CEO Tom Gitogo, in an interview.

CIC in February partnered with Tuskys Supermarkets to sell its insurance plans to customers under the “shopassurance” model where retailers market its insurance products.

The insurer has a mobile-based cover dubbed M-Bima which combines savings with life insurance sold through mobile money platforms like Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

UAP is placed fifth on the ranking with a market share of 6.9 per cent of the industry’s total gross premiums while APA has a market share of 5.8 per cent completing the list of Kenya’s top-tier underwriters.

Kenya’s insurance industry saw gross underwritten premiums grow by a fifth in the first nine months of the year to Sh119.6 billion compared to 99.4 billion in September 2013.

This translates to an insurance penetration rate of 2.5 per cent of Kenya’s newly re-based GDP.

“This growth in premiums in the Kenyan insurance market is supported by increasing awareness on the importance of insurance and increasingly innovative products and distribution channels amongst others,” said the IRA chief executive Sammy Makove in the report.

The IRA data shows that Jubilee controlled premiums worth Sh14.2 billion compared to the combined entity of Britam and Real (Sh13.3 billion) and CIC’s Sh10.7 billion as at September.

ICEA Lion booked premiums worth Sh9.1 billion over the period to be followed by UAP (Sh8.2 billion) and APA with policy covers valued at Sh6.9 billion.

The jostling for market share among the top-tier insurance firms comes amid increased deal-making such as mergers and acquisitions in Kenya’s insurance industry.