|TAKAFUL OPERATOR SEES OPPORTUNITIES IN MICROTAKAFUL|
Following its launch of affordable personal accident plans, Takaful Insurance of Africa (TIA) is now looking into a livestock policy and expects to launch it in the third quarter of this year, said CEO Hassan Bashir in an interview with Middle East Insurance Review.
"Insurance reach has been limited to the high-income areas," said Mr Bashir, explaining the non-life player's plans to grow the microtakaful segment. Among TIA's first offerings are personal accident plans covering students travelling to and from their schools, and adults on bus trips - for contributions of around USD15-35.
TIA is now looking into a livestock policy and expects to launch it in the third quarter of this year. It has already launched a Hajj plan marketed through travel agents and targeted at roughly 5,000 pilgrims who make the trip from Kenya yearly.
TIA is planning to open six more branches by the end of this year, bringing the total to eight. Having partnered with three banks, it is now in discussions with 10 others in the country, where banks have to be licensed as agents in order to sell insurance, said Mr Bashir.
About 60% of TIA's premium income comes from the motor business. "We are not sure if this is a peek into the future, but motor is not the best policy to write. In the long term, we hope it will account for just a small share of sales," he said. "We are interested [in life insurance] but at this moment, we are still unprepared to get a life insurance licence," he added. However, the company is likely to apply for such a licence next year.
Since it was licensed in January 2011, TIA has collected about USD 500,000 in contributions. For Mr Bashir, this is an achievement, taking into account the fact that the awareness of the takaful concept is being built from scratch in Kenya. "Revenues that may seem small in other markets are actually significant here, considering the market."
TIA is capitalised at nearly USD 8 million and employs about 30 staff.
Source: Takaful Insurance of Africa