Kenyan general insurance companies recorded a 29.5 percent jump in operating profits in the nine months ended September, helped by reduced costs.
Data from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) show that they made a combined Sh1.7 billion operating profit in the review period compared to Sh1.3 billion a year earlier.
The companies, which account for about 60 percent of the entire insurance sector, remained in losses in their core underwriting business but higher investment income helped push them to profitability.
Their underwriting loss narrowed 5.2 percent to Sh2.6 billion. Gross premiums increased 3.4 percent to Sh103.8 billion while claims rose 2.4 percent to Sh44.9 billion.
The companies cut their commissions to agents by 11.8 percent to Sh4.7 billion while also reducing management expenses marginally to Sh21.8 billion.
Investment income increased 6.1 percent to Sh4.4 billion, boosting their bottom-line.
The IRA data shows wide variations in the performance of individual general insurers, most of which reported losses.
GA Insurance Company made the biggest operating profit of Sh900.4 million in the period, followed by AAR Insurance Kenya (Sh728.5 million) and Heritage Insurance Company (Sh554.1 million).
Resolution Insurance Company made the largest operating loss of Sh338.5 million and it was followed by Pacis Insurance Company (Sh273.9 million) and Kenya Orient Insurance (Sh217.7 million).
Some of the general insurers are part of investment holding companies that also own life insurance subsidiaries and other businesses. In terms of market share, Jubilee leads in the general insurance sector with a 9.4 percent share of the gross premiums, growing it from 8.8 percent the year before.