Insurance firms want to eliminate all pre-printed motor insurance certificates from March next year in favour of sending them directly to customers via e-mail and other digital channels to cut costs and curb fraud.
The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) says motorists will also be able to check validity of stickers on their mobile phones as underwriters’ digitisation of the process enters the second phase. The first phase took effect in September for motorcycles while the second will cover motor private, motor commercial and public service vehicles.
AKI chief executive Tom Gichuhi said successful roll-out of digital certificates for motorcycles had encouraged the association to try out other vehicle classes before a full roll-out in March.
“The underwriters for the motorcycles PSVs and tuk tuks are using them so we just decided that we needed to roll to the other classes although not full blast because we still have the manual certificates and we want to make sure we run them through the course so we are not left with the certificates which we have spent money on,” he said.
“From the beginning of this month we rolled out for the rest of the classes in a small way. We would want to control the number of virtual certificates that companies would procure from us to make sure we run them parallel manual and digital maybe until March when we are anticipating to go full blast.” However, despite the digitisation strategy, the law still requires motor vehicles to use physical certificates displayed prominently on the vehicle.
“Once a customer receives the virtual motor vehicle certificate, they will print it in colour, cut and display the certificate as required by traffic laws,” Mr Gichuhi said.
The virtual certificates will also save insurance companies the cost of physically delivering the certificates to customers.
The appearance and details of digital certificates will remain the same as those currently in use.
Other processes such as valuation and claims processing will not be affected. AKI says the only difference will be the mode of transmission to the consumer which will be via digital channels such as e-mail.
Insurance Regulatory Authority data shows the private motor vehicle segment posted a loss of Sh2.5 billion and commercial motor vehicle Sh873 million loss in 2018.