An Assessment of consumer protection in the Kenyan insurance sector
Kiptum, Godfrey K.
MetadataShow full item record
The general objective of this research was to assess the effect of insurance features on consumer protection in Kenya’s insurance sector. The study specific objectives were to; examine the extent of consumer awareness on consumer protection in Kenya insurance sector; determine the effect of insurance regulatory framework on consumer protection in Kenya insurance sector; assess the extent of the effect of disclosure of insurance product information on consumer protection in Kenya insurance sector and establish the effect of equitable and fair treatment of consumers on consumer protection in Kenya insurance sector. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and the target population was a total of 700 consumer’s documented insurance complaints in the year 2014. The study applied a stratified random sampling technique to select 230 respondents as the sample size for the study. The study used data collected from secondary sources obtained from documented insurance complaints reports for the year 2014. The study collected documented consumer complaints reported from 42 insurance companies that had complaints made against them. Data of 150 consumers was sampled by the study. The findings indicate that knowledge on consumer education is low, that the insurance framework as currently is affords consumers little protection, product coverage and disclosure is still at the nascent stage and that consumers are not accorded fair treatment by the insurers. The study drew conclusion that the consumer awareness and hence protection in Kenya’s insurance sector was low due to low level of knowledge on insurance matters. This affects consumers’ ability to enforce their contractual rights. It was further noted that the lack of awareness by insurance consumers affected consumers’ protection in Kenya’s insurance legal regime. It is evident that the lack of clear understanding by policy holders on insurance legal legal regime disefranchised consumers and hence may not be able to seek protection provided by the various laws that protect consumers i.e. the Insurance Act and the Consumer protection Act. The study further concluded that lack of clear disclosure of insurance product information by insurance agents or insurance brokers negatively impacted on consumer protection in Kenya’s insurance sector and finally it was concluded that lack of knowledge on particular product or range of options available and the provisions to safeguard consumer rights that are standard contract provision like mediation or arbitration hampers the achievement of equity in resolving consumer complaints and hence the unintended discrimination in resolution of customer complaints. The study recommended that insurance companies’ agents or brokers should properly increase on consumer awareness on insurance products by equipping insurance policy holders with clear knowledge on insurance products. The insurance companies should also ensure that their insurance brokers or agents explains to their customers on the scope of benefits of their insurance covers.