CIC Head Office. PHOTO/CIC Group

CIC Insurance Group on Monday September 17 partnered with the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) to launch a project that will see the increased uptake of micro-insurance products in the Kenya.

Dubbed ‘555’, the project is a strategy aimed at developing mutual insurance in five emerging markets over the next five years. The initiative targets expanding micro insurance products to 5 million new households, approximately an additional 25 million people.

The five emerging markets selected for development of mutual micro insurance are; the Philippines, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka and Colombia. CIC Group and Takaful Insurance were identified as executive partners for this project in Kenya.

Speaking during the launch held at a Kiambu hotel, the Commissioner for Cooperative Development Mary Mungai said the project will go a long way in expanding financial inclusion in the country.

“Insurance for low-income populations, or micro-insurance, is now firmly accepted as an integral tool for poverty alleviation and building resilience in communities against natural and man-made disasters. The launch of this project is therefore poised to take financial inclusion to another level,” said Ms Mungai.

CIC Insurance Group CEO Mr Tom Gitogo noted that micro insurance is a form of financial inclusion and access to both are necessary preconditions for increasing insurance penetration.

“Small scale farmers, small traders, manufacturers and people generating livelihoods on a small and generally vulnerable scale constitute the base of the untapped micro insurance market in Kenya. A majority of these belong to a co-operative or welfare group”, Mr Gitogo observed, adding, “Over 75 per cent of informal and semi-formal mutuals exist in rural areas where social networks are strong and economic activity is largely agricultural.

Speaking at the same function, K-Unity Cooperative Society Chairman Mr John Mbitu assured the organisers of the society’s commitment to create more awareness among its member farmers on the benefits and the importance of Agriculture insurance.

“Majority of the people in this County depend on agriculture for their livelihood, with more than 1.28 million people directly or indirectly employed in the sector. The importance of mutual micro-insurance for such a population can therefore not be overstated”, Mr Mbitu stated.

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