The Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) has made its life insurance wing independent from the firm’s general products, it was announced last week.
This follows the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA)’s directive that composite insurance firms demerge. Justus Mutiga, ICEA Lion Life Assurance chief executive officer, told guests at Serena hotel that the separation would boost ICEA’s capacity to serve the market.
“The demerger will now elevate our products and service standards to even greater heights,” Mutiga said. “It will also enrich our innovative spirit, and enhance the customer service experience… .”
Under the new arrangement, ICEA group will now comprise three specialised units: ICEA Insurance Company Ltd, ICEA Life Assurance Company Ltd, and the ICEA Asset Management Limited. Each enterprise will act independently and focus on its unique customers, the ICEA statement said.
Jackson Muli, the acting CEO of ICEA life Assurance, said that this year, the group targeted to underwrite up to Shs 20bn in general insurance and Shs 15bn in life insurance. Meanwhile, IRA Head of Operations John Okotha said the industry was preparing for emerging market opportunities.
“With the separation, both life and general entities are in a better position to develop simple and understandable insurance products,” Okotha said. “It is important that the industry supports small enterprises through relevant and affordable insurance products.”
Insurance sector penetration has improved slightly from 0.66 per cent in 2012 to 0.85 per cent last year, according to IRA figures.
“There are innumerable opportunities in the oil and gas sector, micro insurance, and the liberalised pension sector. These opportunities can only make sense to the industry if the players [use] them.” Okotha said.
Source : The Observer