All the Basics You Need to Know About Insurance in Kenya


It is said that insurance salespersons are aggressive and sometimes they can be annoying trying to convince you to take an insurance cover. While trying to sell insurance policies, it can sound to be bizarre but there many reasons why you need to get an insurance cover. Here are some of the things you need to know about insurance in Kenya.

On the 12th December 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to be a national priority in Kenya, as part of his ‘Big Four Agenda’ for national sustainable development. Universal health coverage is a government’s initiative to provide quality health services to all citizens regardless of their income status. Currently, Kenya is not yet among the countries that provide universal health coverage around the world. So, is healthcare free in Kenya? In public hospitals, healthcare is free for some select services such in-patient treatment, maternity care, and simple diseases such as flu and common cold.

1. Health Insurance

Health Insurance covers medical costs for some sicknesses. When you get injured or fall sick, the insurance cover takes care of your bills. The health insurance covers a wide range of products. Among them include inpatient cover, outpatient cover, maternity cover, low-cost cover, high and medium cost covers.

Read: Affordable Medical Coverage in Kenya

Inpatient Cover

The inpatient cover caters for all expenses accruing from hospitalisation. The cover caters for your bills when you get admitted to a hospital. It also covers liabilities related to hospitalisation such as accommodation and direct treatment costs. To make a claim, insurers require the policyholder to get clearance from the hospital that their medical condition requires hospitalisation.

Outpatient Cover

The outpatient cover caters for an individual’s liabilities associated with outpatient obligations for the treatment. The policyholder seeks services from a hospital or a clinic that is accredited by the insurer. The cover caters for liabilities which the policyholder incurs but is not admitted in the hospital. The cover is relatively cheaper compared to inpatient cover.

Maternity Cover

The cover takes care of hospitalisation bills and other costs of hospitalisation and delivery. It also covers other eventualities that may come along with pregnancy. It includes an insured risk that is used by insurers to retain customers.

Low-Cost Cover

Low-cost cover has been developed recently by insurance companies. The policy caters for the needs of individuals in areas with low income. It is characterized by low premiums, and it aims to help policyholders acquire inpatient and outpatient services. Some of the low-cost medical covers in Kenya include Bima ya Jamii.

High and Medium Cost Covers

These covers are paid for by employers to insure their employees. They work in such a way that in case an employee gets injured while working he gets compensated. The policy is part of the employees’ remuneration package. Employees with high ranks get high cost covers, while medium rank employees get medium-cost covers.

2. Life Insurance

The life insurance policy provides financial safety to the person you have named as a beneficiary in the event of your demise. Life insurance policy does not only cover your life, but it also includes financial consequences that arise from your death. It also covers funeral expenses, final expenses, planned education expenses, lost income and also outstanding debts. You can take whole life insurance or endowment life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

The whole life insurance covers one up to a certain age where he or she pays premiums for a number of years and then get covered the rest of the years. In case death of the holder comes first, the sum assured and the accrued bonus is paid to the beneficiary. This type of insurance has a cash surrender value, which is after three years while paying premiums.

Endowment Life

An endowment life policy is the most common life insurance policy in Kenya. Premiums are paid for a specified period. Most of the insurers pay an individual at regular intervals with final maturity being paid at the expiry of the policy term. The endowment policy has sum assured and cash surrender value after three years of paying premiums. The sum assured is paid to the beneficiary at the expiry of the policy term.

3. Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy

It is mandatory for individuals to insure their vehicles in Kenya. Vehicle insurance policies in Kenya are of three categories. These categories include Third party cover, Third Party Theft and Fire and Comprehensive Cover.

Third-Party Insurance Cover

It is the primary insurance for vehicles in Kenya. It is mandatory for every motorist. The insurance covers the third parties in case of liabilities as a result of an accident. It protects third parties from bodily injuries and physical damage of the vehicle. The cover does not protect the owner from financial loss or physical injury.

Third-Party Theft and Fire

Third-party theft and fire is the other type of insurance policy offered by insurers in Kenya. The policy covers you against burglary and fire. The insurer also compensates you in case your car gets damaged as a result of attempted theft. For example, if the windscreen of the vehicle breaks during an attempted robbery, the insurer will cover the repair costs. The policy replaces your car in case of destruction by fire or theft.

Comprehensive Policy

Comprehensive cover is the most protective policy in Kenya. The policy covers a wide range of financial risks which a motorist can encounter. The advantage of the comprehensive cover is that it covers the driver, third party liabilities, third party theft and theft. It also includes the vehicle from other accidents such as collision, natural disasters such as landslides.

Read: Best Health Insurance Startups in Kenya and Tanzania


Taking an insurance cover is essential to protect you from any financial loss. It will also ensure that your beneficiaries get covered in case of your demise. Many insurance companies in Kenya are offering different insurance products. Look for an insurer that will meet your insurance needs before you can take up a policy.

Vincent is a writer and researcher with an interest in finance, banking, startups, and remittance. He holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Statistics with computing. He founded Nexin Startups, an online platform offering startup advice to investors and entrepreneurs. Read more about us and our authors.