In Summary
  • The 2018 Economic Survey released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that crime has almost doubled over the past three years.
  • Pesabazaar is an online portal that allows Kenyans not only to purchase insurance, but also to compare the rates and terms of different insurance agencies.
  • The firm, which was started by Mr Karegyesa and Mr Prashanth Srinivas three years ago, seeks to make insurance cheaper by cutting out agents.

Theft and burglary are common occurrences in many residential areas, especially in urban centres. The 2018 Economic Survey released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that crime has almost doubled over the past three years.

At the household level, many Kenyans will tell stories of how they lost their valuables such as electronics, kitchen appliances and jewellery to thieves.

Yet, according to Pesabazaar co-founder and director Calleb Karegyesa, for just Sh3,000 a year, homeowners can ensure their valuables to the tune of more than half a million

shillings.

Pesabazaar is an online portal that allows Kenyans not only to purchase insurance, but also to compare the rates and terms of different insurance agencies.

The firm, which was started by Mr Karegyesa and Mr Prashanth Srinivas three years ago, seeks to make insurance cheaper by cutting out agents. It offers policies by firms such as Jubilee, First Assurance, UAP, Occidental, Geminia, Britam, Fidelity Shield and AAR.

Contents insurance, Mr Karegyesa says, is a policy that indemnifies an individual for damage to, or loss of, their personal possessions inside a home.

BEST SELLING POLICIES

“Contents insurance is one of our best-selling policies. With the policy, a tenant or house owner can rest easy, knowing that they will get compensation should anything happen to their furniture, television, home theatre, curtains, carpet, cooking appliances, beds, mattresses, refrigerator, washing machines and basically all valuables in the household,” Mr Karegyesa says.

“The policy does not only cover against theft, but extends to accidental or malicious damage, fire, lightning, earthquakes, riots, and strikes, water damage and floods. In the last few years, the rains have been a menace and we have experienced an uptake of our policies due to the damage caused by floods. Policy inquiries also rise around the December festive season due an increase in homebreak-ins,” he adds.

Contents insurance also contains all-risk cover that extends coverage to personal items that are often temporarily taken out of the home by the policyholder. They include items such as mobile phones, tablets, travel bags/briefcases, jewellery and sunglasses/spectacles and photographic equipment such as cameras.

A burglar about to break into the house.

A burglar about to break into the house. PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH

The all-risk cover, Mr Karegyesa explains, gives protection to the insured movable items even when loss and damage does not occur within the household.

“I usually advise people that instead of taking a stand-alone cover for, say your mobile phone or camera, it is more prudent to take a contents insurance cover that will include the phone, together with other household items,” he says.

However, some contents insurance covers do not provide cover for theft by employees and relatives. In corporate or commercial insurance, there is a specific cover for this policy, known as fidelity guarantee.

Most contents insurance policies also come with a free work-injury benefits acts policy, commonly known as WIBA. Brought into being as an Act of the Parliament, WIBA is a policy that covers your domestic employee against accidental bodily injury, permanent or temporary disability, accidental emergency, medical expenses and loss of life.

“If you take a home contents insurance policy with a WIBA extension and your house-girl, for instance, is unable to carry out her duties due to an accident or injury at the workplace, her medical expenses will be taken care of up to the stated limit, and you will be reimbursed for the inconveniences that might occur. In the case of death of the employee or permanent disability, the insurance company will issue compensation up to eight years of the employee’s salary,” Mr Karegyesa explains.

OCCUPIER LIABILITY

For the smart insurance shopper, a contents insurance might also include a free occupier liability.

Occupier Liability, according to Mr Karegyesa, is a statute codified into law that specifies a responsibility by those who occupy a building to bear any liability that might arise from accidents caused by defective or dangerous conditions on the premises. This responsibility does not only extend to visitors, but also to people trespassing on the property.

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