Kenya’s online insurance platform PESABAZAAR.com, has raised Ksh 40,000,000 ($396,000) to launch insurance price comparison services to the Kenyan public allowing them to compare premiums and features of similar insurance products and services at a glance.
The Ksh 40 million seed fund will help the firm to reach more customers and help them to freely and conveniently compare and purchase a wide range of insurance products at the click of a button.
According to PesaBazaar.com co-founder Calleb Karegyesa, “We are partnering with leading insurance companies in Kenya to ensure that we offer the widest selection of insurance products in the simplest form so that customers can easily and quickly compare plans using the most significant benefits/cover metrics for each class of insurance”.
Karegyesa says PesaBazaar has already signed up 10 of the leading insurance companies in the Kenya for Comprehensive Motor Insurance, Third Party Only Motor Insurance, Individual and Medical Insurance, Travel Insurance, Golfers Insurance, Mobile, SME and Corporate Insurance.
Some of the firms PesaBazaar is working with include Jubilee Insurance, Kenya Orient Insurance, Fidelity Insurance, APA Insurance, Resolution Insurance, Kenindia, UAP Insurance, BRITAM Insurance and First Assurance.
Though they are not the first one’s doing this, PesaBazaar see a huge need for their services in the country.
“We want to make buying insurance as hassle-free as possible by giving the customer the option to purchase cover instantly,” says co-founder Prashanth Srinivas. “The entire search, comparison and purchase experience has been brought at the convenience of the customer and is available on desktop, tablet and mobile. This, coupled with our experienced customer service team, will ensure timely service delivery to our customers countrywide.”
Their competition will include InsureAfrika and Tuko news site which has a section for such services.
Despite its low penetration levels, Kenya is one of the largest insurance markets in Africa. There are currently over 40 insurance companies, four re-insurance companies (including Zep Re and Africa Re, which are regional bodies), 200 insurance brokers, 250 service providers and about 4,000 insurance agents. Karegyesa sees this as an opportunity.
“The insurance market in Kenya is highly fragmented and it is difficult for the insured to find the right product that offers the best coverage for the best price,” Karegyesa says adding that PesaBazaar is continuing to on board more general insurance and life insurance providers and products.
Currently, the annual growth rate of insurance premiums is pegged at 20 per cent. In 2014, Kenya generated insurance premiums amounting to $1.8 billion, which is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. Kenya’s growth in premiums is contrasted with the Africa-wide growth of only 4.2 per cent.