Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Kenya’s UAP Holdings begins insurance services in Rwanda


Dominic Kiarie Managing director of UAP Holdings talking to the press.
UNION INSURANCE RWANDA, a subsidiary of UAP Holdings - a pan African investment group, opened shop in Kigali yesterday. During the launch, the company officially announced a range of services it is bringing to the country.

It joins other major insurance players in the economy including Sonarwa, Soras Group and Phoenix Insurance among others.

The move is part of UAP’s strategy to open operations in Rwanda, Democtratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania as well as in all COMESA member states.

According to management, Union Insurance Rwanda secured a license to operate in August last year but had not yet begun providing services officially.

“Our vision is to provide innovative insurance services that cater for all people, be it an individual or a company,” Dominic Kiarie the group’s Managing Director said yesterday during the official unveiling.

“Union Insurance Rwanda will have local employees and employers who understand the needs of the economy, in order to develop credible services designed to cater for the needs of population. We are a general assurance company for now but very soon we will be branching out in all sectors of the insurance and in the latter stages we hope to begin property lines.”

According to the General Manager of Union Insurance Rwanda, Pauline Wanjoki, the company will focus on offering general insurance covers including medical, life and savings insurance, as well as investment, property management and development.

“We have signed with the major government hospitals in Rwanda in a bid to have a significant role in improving medical insurance coverage in the country,” Wanjoki said.

“The medical insurance we provide will be regional, so our clients will be insured in any country they will be in within East Africa,” Wanjoki revealed.

UAP was reported to have interest is issuing an IPO in 2011 but was forced to delay plans due to an unstable stock market.

In the same year it kickstarted plans to raise KSh5.5 billion (Rwf41.8 billion) through private equity and public offer to fund its network expansion strategy and foray into new business areas.

Rwanda’s insurance sector grew by 36 per cent between 2011 and 2012, according to the latest National Bank of Rwanda, while the sector’s revenues also grew progressively to Rwf214b from Rwf157 in 2011.

The rate of penetration remains low however at 2.3 percent, compared to other countries in the region like Kenya which has the highest rate at 2.76 percent.


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