Insurance companies losing out on the opportunities in Kenya’s Tech boom

The PC World shop at Yaya Center
The PC World shop at Yaya Center
The PC World shop at Yaya Center

Despite the Kenyan Government introducing a tax requirement for all ICT equipment early this year, there continues to be an increase in the number of IT equipment sold particularly the sale of Personal Computers and phones.

Due to the growing gap between the middle middle income earners and those in the low income tier, made up mostly of young people who find themselves without jobs, there are numerous crime incidents involving electronics. There is a huge number of Kenyans who lose their phones on a monthly basis. Indeed, one just needs to take a look at the OB (Occurence Book) at the Central Police station to understand the extent of this occurrence which, interestingly, peaks every end month.

Whereas there are insurance companies that have  a house hold package that provides a cover for household items such as electronics, clothes, furniture, beddings etc. Not many Kenyans are even aware that it exists or how affordable it is. This cover also caters for one’s gadgets such as cell phone, PC, TV, Radio and fridge. The insurance usually gives a cover against  loss caused by mainly fire or theft and others that vary depending on which Insurance company you decide to take the cover with.

In my line of work, I frequently deal with I.T equipment re-sellers who cater to both, companies and individuals. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the IT retail shops such as Starcom, Bestell, Bright Technologies and many others that are in Nairobi’s CBD. They mostly sell to students and home users and the Insurance home package would make a lot of sense to them. Most organisations tend to take insurance covers for all their IT equipment thus a home package would not make sense.

None of the insurance company offering the home package  has partnered with any of the I.T retail shops for an extended package where one can purchase a cover as they purchase their PC or any other high value electronic.  Derrick of Saruk Digital– an I.T retail shop on Kimathi Street often has to refer his customers to Jubilee for an insurance cover of the newly purchased PC . Since Jubilee does not have a customized home  insurance package, they charge as much as 3,000 to insure just one PC per year.

Derrick sells an average of at least 10 PCs on a daily basis. The number of high end smart phones and tablets being sold everyday is on the rise. Maybe its about time for  insurance companies curate their packages to fit these growing trends.


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