Equity Bank low deposit and no charge accounts revolutionized the banking business and brought it to mama mbogas.
Now the regional lender wants to disrupt the insurance business which in Kenya has sunk to 2.17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, more than a decade low.
Insurance business has been low in Kenya attributed to poor or limited product portfolio, low or no awareness on available insurance products, and low-income levels among the key consuming public.
Low penetration has also been blamed on perceived low rate of returns for life insurance policies, cumbersome claim settlement procedures, lack of trust of insurance players, negative perception of providers/intermediaries, and expensive premiums among others.
Equity Bank thinks it can change that after the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) issued Equity Life Assurance with a license marking the entry of the banks onto the sector after a decade of learning the ropes as a bankassurance agent.
Equity Group CEO and Managing Director Dr James Mwangi said the insurance business will build on the experience of Covid-19 shocks and develop a product that will overcome the limits seen in the sector.
“The ELAK licence comes at a very critical time when the economy is recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our inspiration is to offer insurance to all categories of consumers and make insurance accessible, affordable, and inclusive in line with our purpose of transforming lives, giving dignity, and expanding opportunities for wealth creation,” he said.
“We realised that the greatest threat to wealth creation is when disaster strikes and the family and entities have no fall-back plan except removing capital from their businesses to meet such expenses. The insurance business of ELAK will be based on simplicity, openness, transparency and trust,” Dr Mwangi said.