Top 5 Things You Should Know about Life Insurance In Kenya
Life insurance in Kenya is probably one of the most controversial & misunderstood insurance plans. One of the biggest challenges that I have come across as an insurance agent in Kenya is that clients really feel lost when it comes to understanding what life assurance in Kenya is all about. It comes out that most people feel frustrated since they do not understand the terms and conditions that are generally attached to life assurance policies.
Life insurance is a contractual agreement between the insurance company and the insured where the insurance company guarantees to pay a lump sum pre-agreed amount in the event of death or as per the maturity terms and conditions.
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What are the three main types of life insurance?
Life assurance policies can be categorized into three major classes:
- Whole-life insurance
- Endowment Assurance
- Term Life Assurance.
The major ones that are commonly issued in Kenya are the whole life and endowment plans for individuals.
The difference between life insurance plans in Kenya
The difference between the whole life and endowment plans are as below
- Whole life will only benefit your next of kin or dependants hence it pays only upon death.
- Endowment plans can either benefit you directly through the maturity of the policy or your next of kin/dependant in the event of your death.
- The endowment plans can have options of what is called partial maturity which means, the insurance company can have the option where the company can send you a certain percentage of the sum assured at the end of the say every 3, 4, or 5 years. This will vary from company to company.
- Depending on the kind of whole life policy picked, you pay premiums until death or until 65 years and your cover remains in force until death. This varies from one insurance company to another.
- The endowment plans are more expensive compared to the whole life plans.
Benefits of life insurance in Kenya
- This is an avenue of saving and teaches you the discipline of saving.
- This can be used as a way to build an estate for yourself and your dependents.
- You get tax relief of 15% and this relief is capped at KES. 5,000 a month.
- You can use your life assurance policy as loan collateral or even get a loan from the insurance company.
How much does the average person pay for life insurance?
The average person pays about 2,500 shillings per month for their life insurance in Kenya. As per the 2020 IRA industry report, there are about 1.27 million life insurance policyholders in Kenya. With a contribution of about 29.5 billion shillings in gross annual written premium.
When it comes to the comparison between the various long-term insurance options available in Kenya, pensions are still leading at 39.9% of annual gross written premium followed by life insurance at 28.9%. Group credit, group life, annuities, and investments are at 9.8%, 9.5%, 8%, and 3.9% respectively.
Can life insurance be affordable on a tight budget?
The average cost of life insurance in Kenya is 2,500 shillings a month and that makes a total contribution of 30,000 a year towards life insurance. Financial advisors will advise their clients that they need to contribute anywhere between 2%-5% of their monthly incomes towards life and health insurance. Therefore this means that with a net salary of 50,000 you can be able to afford the most basic life insurance.
This however is not the basis by which one needs to meet to be able to get life insurance. With lower expenses and with good personal finance skills, you can take life insurance that you can afford comfortably.
What is a good age to get life insurance?
When it comes to life insurance in Kenya or anywhere else, the younger you are the better it is to get life insurance at a lower price with good limits. In Kenya, your life assurance can be taken as from 18 years. The majority of people in this age bracket (18-24) are still in school and probably do not have disposable income for insurance.
So when it comes to life assurance, the younger and healthier you are then that’s the best time to get life insurance. It is also important to note that, women also have more affordable health insurance than men.
How can life insurance help protect my family?
You might be asking yourself why you need life insurance protection. We at Amssurity Insurance are experts at helping people by protecting families and their futures. What then can we say is the reason for getting life insurance policies?
Term life insurance can be used to create lump sum payments into your retirement fund that a family has been contributing to. How do you do this? If you have a term life insurance plan, upon its maturity you can decide to max out your annual retirement fund contribution using this payout.
A whole life insurance plan would be ideal for this. Upon the death of the policyholder, this type of policy can be either be used to create a trust for your young one or inheritance if they of the right age.
Education trust and planning
Whole life or a term life assurance policy can be used to plan for the education of your loved one. These give far better interest returns especially if invested well by your insurance company.
In the event of premature death, a term/whole life insurance in Kenya plan can be used to cushion your family against the unexpected loss of your income and they can continue to relatively enjoy a comfortable life.
Life insurance in Kenya can be used to manage your debts subject to if it is either a term life insurance or whole life. When your loans and mortgages are well negotiated and you are not penalized for early repayment, a matured life assurance policy can help you settle your debt early.
Life insurance in Kenya allows you to add on what are called riders. Riders are life insurance add-ons that provide extra coverage for specific things such as critical illness cover, disability cover, and personal accident covers whose amount will vary from one insurance company to another.
These benefits can contribute to medical funds upon diagnosis of any of the illnesses as defined by your policy.
Who needs life insurance?
According to insurance law and insurance principles, the principle of insurable interest if any of the people below can take life insurance in Kenya:
- Spouse on the life of the other spouse and vice versa.
- Business partners
- Parents on the life of children to the extent of education and funeral expenses.
- Employers on the life of employees
- Creditors on debtors.
How much life insurance do I need?
“How much life insurance do you need?” you ask, this will vary based on your income of individuals. Financial advisors will advise that you will need life insurance of between 10-15 times your annual income.
This, therefore, calls for you to regularly engage with your insurance advisor to regularly check if you are meeting this figure. Let us help you navigate life insurance in Kenya.
We offer a comparison of various policies of the best life insurance companies in Kenya.