American health services company, Cigna, has ventured into the Kenyan insurance market with the launch of its African headquarters in Nairobi.
The international insurer, which is targeting multinationals and locally-recruited staff working at inter-governmental and NGOs, said it is looking to make Kenya its hub for Africa.
Cigna’s entry will step up competition for global health insurers such as Bupa International that equally provides health insurance services to the growing middle-class, mid-level executives and expatriates living in Kenya and travelling in and around Africa, including those seeking treatment in South Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Cigna chief executive Arjaan Toor said the firm’s success would be driven by betting that the future of health insurance is managing its clients’ needs holistically, rather than just one aspect of their medical care.
“We see more and more multinationals setting up shop locally and more Kenyan companies are setting up office in other countries and so we thought that there is a need for global insurance service providers in Kenya that will cater to the needs of this increasingly global market segment,” he said at the office’s launch yesterday.
Toor added that its expansion is expected to create employment and business opportunities in Kenya through collaborations with Kenyan companies.
“We think that our presence here will assure our clients that healthcare services through Cigna, a health insurer of considerable repute would demonstrate to them that our aim is to provide to the people of this region comprehensive benefits together with affordable, high-quality healthcare service,” said Mr Toor.
The US firm has been on an expansion binge over the years, with its operations present in South Korea, India, Hong Kong and Turkey, among others.
Its services include a medical, dental, pharmacy and other related insurance products it hopes to target Kenya’s growing expatriate community with.