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Take cover, insurers tell property owners

By Mwaghesha Mkala | June 11th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Kenyans should learn the importance of insuring their property from the havoc wreaked by recent flooding in the country.

According to the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), the losses resulting from the floods, together with the rising cases of collapsed buildings in major towns, should be a lesson to Kenyans to get their investments insured.

“Whether it is a car, a building or anything that is an investment, people should insure, if possible, comprehensively, so that whenever such natural occurrences happen, they are not a major setback,” say AKI CEO, Tom Gichuhi.

Speaking during a media breakfast meeting in Nairobi, Gichuhi also stressed the need for Kenyans to save for their retirement. He said AKI would soon roll out a media campaign that will seek to inform the public about the importance of pension, noting that insurers have not done enough to make Kenyans appreciate the importance of having savings for retirement.

“We have not been doing enough as insurers and the data confirms that. What we want to do is bridge the gap of information between the services we offer and what the public knows,” he said, adding that an ongoing consumer-education programme would go on up to July. Only five per cent of Kenyans are insured.

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According to data from both AKI and the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA), there are 1,300 pension schemes in the country and these provide cover for only 15 per cent of the labour force, mostly in the formal sector.

“Times have changed and children no longer take care of their parents like they used to. Having a pension can reduce inter-generational poverty and make old age manageable,” said Gichuhi.

David Ogege from Jubilee Insurance and chairman of AKI’s Pension Committee said that Kenyans should stop consuming all their salaries and diaspora remittances and think of investing in their future instead.

“Kenyans have the habit of consuming extra money instead of saving it for the future,” he said. “A pension can increase a person’s life expectancy.”

AKI Tom Gichuhi Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) David Ogege Jubilee Insurance
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