Insurance claims may take longer, says Sanlam

NAIROBI, KENYA: Insurance claims by customers of Sanlam insurance may take longer as the firm tries to weed out fraudulent claims.

Sanlam Kenya Chairman John Simba said the firm has introduced strict vetting processes to catch fraudsters, which will likely affect settlement period.

“We are determined to instill efficiency and ethical practices as key operations hallmarks this year. This includes more stringent vetting of claims to weed out unscrupulous ones,” said Simba.

“While the new vetting measures in place may slightly lengthen the period leading to the settlement, it is the price that the company must pay to deal with fraud instances,” he said.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority, Sanlam’s claims settlement ration jumped from 27 per cent in quarter 3 to 49.9 per cent in the last quarter.

This was higher than the industry levels which saw a general increase in the proportion of the number of claims paid in relation to the total number of claims actionable during the quarter.

In  Q4  2018,  the  claims settlement ratio for general liability  claims increased to 9.0 per cent compared to 8.2per cent observed in Q3  2018. 

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Over the same period, the claims settlement ratio for general non-liability claims decreased to 58.7 per cent compared to 64.7per cent observed in the previous quarter.

The claims settlement ratio for the long term insurance business increased to 69.2per cent compared to 64.9 per cent observed in the previous quarter.

“Moving forward, our focus is to strengthen internal processes and controls to plug gaps that may give rise to fraudulent claims or loss-making investments without stifling decision-making processes that are essential to our business,” said Simba.

A sharp decline in business and bad loans, sunk investment firm Sanlam into a Sh1.97 billion loss for the year ended December 2018.

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