ICEA Lion share sheds 5.5pc as Jubilee, GA Life gains in first quarter


ICEA Lion Asset Management CEO Einstein Kihanda. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

Insurance firm ICEA Lion Life lost its market share in the long-term (life) business by 5.5 percentage points to 13.5 percent while rivals Jubilee and GA Life gained in the first quarter ended March.

ICEA Lion's market share in the segment in the Sh34.5 billion premium industry shrunk from 19 percent a year earlier and slid back to the 13.6 percent recorded in 2020.

Data from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) shows that GA Life was the major gainer with its market share climbing to 8.1 percent in the three months to March compared to 3.4 percent in the corresponding period in 2020.

Absa, Jubilee Life and CIC market shares recorded growth of 1.1, 0.2, 0.2 percentage points respectively while that of Britam, dipped by 0.4 percentage points to 20.6 percent during the review period.

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

The IRA says eight insurers —Britam Life, ICEA Lion Life, Jubilee, GA Life, Sanlam Life, CIC Life Kenindia and Absa Life— controlled a market share of 76.1 percent of the gross written premiums under life business by end of quarter one.

“The remaining fifteen companies controlled 23.9 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 Sh7.7 billion of the total Sh34.5 billion total gross written premiums for life insurers, followed by ICEA Lion’s Sh4.67 billion.

Jubilee came in third, having handled Sh3.8 billion worth of business, followed by GA Life’s Sh2.7 billion, Sanlam’s Sh2.23 billion and CIC’s Sh2 billion.

Overall, the long-term insurers’ asset base grew by 12.9 percent to Sh580.21 billion and is largely composed of income-generating investments of Sh537.83 billion.

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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