Local marine insurers urged to price their products fairly

Nancy Karigithu, Maritime and Shipping Affairs principal secretary. PHOTO | FILE
Nancy Karigithu, Maritime and Shipping Affairs principal secretary. PHOTO | FILE 

Insurers must innovate and price their products competitively as fear mounts among shippers that implementation of mandatory local marine insurance law could lead to higher cost of importation.

State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs principal secretary Nancy Karigithu said risk assessment by local insurers will lead to lower pricing, ensuring smooth implementation of the law which became effective on January 1, 2017.

“We expect insurance companies to contribute specialised expertise in the identification and measurement of risks and thus bring deeper understanding of the maritime business. The expertise will help insurance companies to accept carefully specified risks and that should make the prices even lower,” she said.

Ms Karigithu spoke at a function where listed Jubilee Insurance became the latest underwriter to unveil a new marine product.

Jubilee said its new marine cargo insurance online portal will enable customers and intermediaries to manage their insurance policy at the click of a button.

Chief executive Patrick Tumbo said that through the online platform, clients will be able to self-manage their accounts via a user friendly portal, providing ease of access to importers from anywhere in the world.

“It is our goal as Jubilee Insurance to continue providing solutions to safeguard our client’s future in the most innovative ways. We would want to be in the forefront of clients’ satisfaction as this new area of growth opens up,” Mr Tumbo said.

“This online portal will also enable authorities to verify and validate all certificates issued through the portal, minimising the risks of fraud.”

Shippers have raised fears about the price competitiveness of locally available products.

“We do not want the added cost to inhibit business as yet another form of a non-tariff barrier,” said William Ojonyo, a representative of the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association at the launch of the insurance product.