Britam life market share declines as competitors gain


Britam Tower. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Insurance firm Britam #ticker:BRIT saw its market share in the long-term (life) business drop by 1.9 percentage points to 20.9 percent in the year ended December as rivals gained in the Sh123.7 billion premium industry.

Britam's market share in the segment shrunk from 22.8 percent a year earlier, which was also a decline from 24.5 percent recorded in 2019.

Data from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) shows that ICEA Lion was the major gainer as its market share climbed to 16.2 percent last year compared to 14.5 percent in 2020.

Britam had previously built its market share to highs of 24.5 percent in 2019.

Life insurers in Kenya offer products such as life insurance, annuities, pension, group life, group credit, permanent health, and investments.

The IRA says six insurers —Britam Life, ICEA Lion Life, Jubilee #ticker:JUB , Sanlam Life, Kenindia and CIC Life — controlled a market share of 69.9 percent of the gross written premiums under life business by end of last year.

This means the other 17 insurers offering life business controlled 30.1 percent, pointing to the dominance of a few insurers for products.

“The remaining seventeen companies controlled 30.1 percent of the market indicating that the Kenyan long-term insurance segment is dominated by a few players,” notes IRA.

During the review period, Britam handled Sh25.89 billion of the total Sh123.71 billion total gross written premiums for life insurers, followed by ICEA Lion’s Sh20 billion.

Jubilee came in third, representing 11.2 percent of the market share having handled Sh13.9 billion worth of business, followed by Kenindia’s nine percent (Sh11.1 bn), Sanlam Life 6.8 percent (Sh8.5 billion) and CIC Life 5.6 percent (Sh6.9 billion).

The Sh123.7 billion premium reported by the long-term insurers in the year to December 2021 reflects growth of 21.1 percent compared to a growth of 4.5 percent the previous year.

IRA notes the long-term insurers’ asset base grew by 13.2 percent to Sh564.82 billion and is largely composed of income-generating investments in government debt securities.

Earnings of life insurers are not disclosed but the industry is relatively more profitable compared to general insurance which has been posting substantial underwriting losses over the years.

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