A United Nations (UN) agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and global nonprofit housing organisation Habitat for Humanity International have selected Britam as the host company for their project dubbed “Developing New Property Insurance Solutions”.
Britam was selected based on a proposal to develop new and innovative property insurance solutions for the low-income and underserved market segments.
The call for proposals was jointly issued by the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility and Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter.
George Mugweru, housing market systems specialist at Habitat for Humanity said the work entails building and expanding inclusive housing markets in partnership with private and public sectors and families in need of decent and affordable housing.
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"We identified an urgent need for property insurance to support this objective in Kenya," said Mugweru.
Recent research has found that 35 per cent of Kenyans have reported losing their homes, businesses or property due to fire, flood, theft or eviction in the last two years.
Through this project with the ILO, the entities intend to incubate innovative property risk management solutions.
“Across the world, the market for property insurance for low-income segments is relatively nascent. This is also the case in Africa where, in 2015, 4.5 million people had property insurance, significantly fewer than the 46.4 million people covered by life insurance,” said Craig Churchill, Chief of Social Finance and Impact Insurance at the ILO.
"We are hoping that this partnership will help in unlocking this unmet market potential."
Britam Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi said the selection is testament to the firm's capability to innovate and provide innovative insurance products to the underserved market segments.
"Britam is not new to this segment as we have been providing solutions to the emerging and underserved consumers since 2007. Today, we are the largest micro-insurance provider in Kenya," Wairegi said.
The project will involve developing products and processes that are cost effective and viable in the long term.
ILO and Habitat for Humanity will support Britam through the product innovation cycle by building capacity and establishing distribution and other key partnerships.
The support will also be provided through technical assistance and the placement of an Impact Insurance Fellow with Britam for up to two years.