East African insurers call for unified regulations

March 25, 2012

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East African insurance regulators said in a report to the World Bank that a unified set of standards is needed for regional co-operation and cross-border expansion, Kenya's The East African reported on Saturday (March 24th).

The report by the East African Insurance Supervisors Association (EAISA) recommended establishing a single supervisory body.

"The current laws make it expensive to do insurance business in the region," said Tom Gichuhi, chief executive of the Association of Kenya Insurers. "Until the common market is fully functional, Kenyan insurers will not benefit fully from the enormous insurance opportunities in the [East African Community] market," he said.

Currently, regional insurers are forced to incorporate new companies rather than open branches across borders, making expansion a "costly affair", Gichuhi said.

Harmonising laws to lower the costs of cross-border expansion will increase insurance penetration regionally, opening opportunities for East African businesses, the paper reported.

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