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IRA urges sector players to comply with laws, regulations

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has challenged Insurance brokers to strictly adhere to the laws governing the insurance sector, while assuring them of a conducive environment to do their businesses.

IRA Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Kiptum reiterated that the government recognised the role of brokers and other sector players in the realisation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) coverage in the country.

“The most important thing is whatever you promise, you must be able to deliver those promises. A broker is supposed to advise his clients from the time they are doing risk assessment up to the time they place their risk and pay in the long run, in case that event occurs,” added Kiptum.

The IRA CEO who is also Commissioner of Insurance was speaking Wednesday in Mombasa during the 15th Association of Insurance Brokers of Kenya (AIBK) annual regional conference held at Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel.

He further reiterated that his agency will continue to oversee reforms in the sector and ensure brokers and other players conduct their businesses with the highest level of professionalism.

“We want to make sure that the players become professionals in the sector. They do professional jobs, do what they are required to do. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and what doesn’t belong to Caesar keep it. It’s yours,” he added.

He said professionalism in the sector will reduce consumer complaints and ease the workload of the national regulator to arbitrate cases.

Kiptum further told the Insurance brokers to contribute their views on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) amendment bill 2021 currently before the parliament.

“The bill has far reaching effects on how the practice of medical insurance in this country will be done. It behooves all of us to make our contribution on how that bill will impact on our business, provision of health care and the general populace of this country,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer IRA and Commissioner of Insurance Godfrey Kiptum addressing delegates during the 15th annual Association of Insurance Brokers (AIBK) Regional conference

He said the IRA will appear before the Senate on Monday and make a presentation on how the bill should be done, hoping that the new bill will revolutionise access to Universal Health Care services in the country.

The CEO hinted that their presentation before the Senate will also contain findings of study done in 2019 on how NHIF can be reformed to provide better services to the citizenry.

 AIBK National Chairman Anthony Mwangi hailed the government for the reforms in the health sector adding that as insurance brokers they expect the NHIF 2021 bill to provide a fair playing ground in the insurance industry.

“We thank the regulator and policy makers for bringing all players together to discuss issues such as the national insurance policy aimed at guiding how insurance business is conducting,” added Mwangi.

He said as insurance brokers they will make their presentation before the senate committee to ensure the bill will create a thriving insurance business ecosystem in the country.

“As a sector we applaud efforts by the national government in creating a vibrant legal and regulatory environment with several guidelines coming into force…I want to urge the government to continue engaging all players in discussion of how we can tackle challenges posed by unfair competition within our sector,” said the AIBK national chairman.

The insurance brokers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are meeting to discuss and share challenges arising from Covid-19 pandemic setbacks.

The conference whose theme, Reaffirming the purpose of insurance in the era of pandemic heard that insurance brokers paid out Sh 1.3 billion to cover covid-19 treatment between March 2020 and June this year.

The conference convener, Joseph Otieno indicated that brokers devised innovative ways to navigate both the financial and human resources hurdles through the pandemic.

“The sector was not only able to adapt and be responsive, but will continue to innovate to provide solutions to new challenges highlighted by the pandemic,” added Otieno in his opening remarks.

The conference will also discuss mental health and its handling following the Covid-19 pandemic with Dr. Frank Njenga expected to address and guide insurance companies on the roles they can play to address the thorny challenges facing the country.

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