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George M. Kamau
Student, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology


The issue of insurance penetration remains a key concern for insurance practitioners and scholars as well as policy makers.  In Kenya insurance penetration has remained low at 3.1% of the country’s GDP as at August 2012 despite the social, economic and political changes experienced in the country in the last 10 years.  This study investigated factors contributing to low insurance penetration in Kenya. Knowing the reasons why this is so is important given the pivotal role that insurance plays in the development of the country. The study was a descriptive survey. Primary data was used in the study and was gathered through use of a questionnaire. The target population for the study was MBA students at JKUAT Nairobi CBD campus. A sample of 65 respondents was chosen. Fifty two questionnaires were completely and satisfactorily filled. Two interviews were conducted with the public relations manager and the marketing manager at the Insurance Regulatory Authority. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics. The data was presented in charts and tables as per the identified themes based on the research objectives. The study found that nature of insurance industry, income, cost of insurance and demographic factors are factors which can explain the current low insurance penetration in Kenya as they had large negative contribution on uptake of insurance services. The study also found that it was unclear on whether education contributes to the low insurance penetration. The study further found that the existing regulatory framework could not be linked to the current low insurance as it was contributing positively to uptake of insurance services.

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