Are you protected as an insurance consumer?

Personal Insurance-

Are you protected as an insurance consumer?
Insurance is considered a complex service by most Kenyans, most prefer not to fathom. They leave it to their agents and brokers to break down the insurance policies and rates. After all, do you really need it? Many ask. Yes you do! It is part of the financial services meant to protect you from possible risks. It cushions your hard earned money. It is a good financial practice as a way to facilitate accumulation of wealth. Did you know that the insurance landscape is regulated by Insurance Regulatory Authority to protect you as a consumer? Below we have highlighted the rights you have as a consumer:

Right to clear and appropriate information
Insurance and intermediaries are supposed to provide accurate, clear and not misleading information to you. The marketing materials should state prominently the basis for any claimed benefits and any significant limitations; and not hide, diminish or obscure important statements or warnings.

Right to Advice
A recommendation made should be explained and documented in a clear and accurate manner, comprehensible to you. Insurance and intermediaries should also take into account your disclosed situation to meet your needs. Where investment advice is provided, this should be communicated on paper or another durable medium accessible to you and a record kept in a ‘client file.’

Right to transparent claim process
Insurance and intermediaries are compelled to have a fair and transparent  claim handling process. Claim-determinative factors such as depreciations, discounting or negligence should be illustrated and explained in comprehensive language. The same applies where claims are denied in whole or in part.

Right to dispute resolution
In case of a complaint insurance companies and intermediaries are required to approach the complaint in a balanced way, bearing in mind the legitimate interests of all parties involved. Decisions should include the reasoning in clear language relating closely to the specific disputable issues. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the dispute resolution, you are at liberty to escalate the matter to the Insurance Regulatory Authority for arbitration and determination

Right to choice
No intermediary or insurance provider can force you to buy a product. The farthest they can go is to recommend a product and let you decide based on your preference. In 2015, banc assurance agents were warned of compelling a customer to buy a particular insurance policy. Treasury Secretary Rotich published regulations in June that spell out a phased increase in basic capital requirements for insurers, to be finalised by June 2018. General insurers must boost capitalisation from KSh300m ($3.3m) to KSh600m ($6.6m), life insurers from KSh150m ($1.65m) to KSh400m ($4.4m), general reinsurers from KSh500m ($5.5m) to KSh1bn ($11m), and life reinsurers from KSh300m ($3.3m) to KSh500m ($5.5m). Businesses offering combined lines will need to increase capital significantly to show they can cover each line separately.