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February 17, 2020 - 04:07
Cyprian Is Nyakundi
Front Business

Insurance Industry Replaces Physical Certificates With Virtual Ones

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Virtual motor insurance certificates are now in the market following a roll-out process that commenced in October 2019 with motorcycle certificates.

The virtual
certificates will run concurrently with the physical certificates until the
latter are phased out by mid this year.

“Motor
insurance customers should not be alarmed when they are issued with the usual
physical certificate, we are phasing them out and by mid-year, we will have
completed the transition,” said Birian Akwir, AKI Senior Manager in charge of
General Insurance Business.

Print In Colour

The virtual
motor insurance certificate appearance and details are the same as the physical
certificate. The only difference will be the mode of transmission to the
consumer which will be via digital channels such as e-mail.

“It is
basically the same service only delivered to the customer in a more efficient
manner”, added Akwir during a meeting with senior traffic officers in Nairobi.

Insurance
companies are now able to conveniently issue virtual motor insurance
certificates to their customers wherever they are.

Once a
customer receives the virtual motor insurance certificate, they will be
required to print it in colour, cut and display the certificate on the
windscreen as required by law.

Customers can query the status of their virtual motor insurance through a shortcode and then follow the process as guided.

The platform
will respond with information on the insuring company; the vehicle details;
start and end date of the insurance; and the status, whether valid or invalid.

Instant Verification of Insurance

Speaking during the meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Police Boniface Otieno lauded the move by AKI noting that it will solve some of the challenges they face with regard to authenticating the validity of motor insurance.

“The digital
certificate will help with instant verification of insurance and this will go a
long way in supporting service delivery by the police.”

“Motor
insurance business has been affected by increasing cases of fraud. This,
coupled with other factors such as predatory pricing has seen the business
struggle to make profits over the last five years,” said Akwir.

He added that
the Integrated Motor Insurance Database System (IMIDS) saved the industry over
Ksh40million in fraudulent claims in 2019 and this figure is expected to
increase as more insurance companies share data via the system.

This shift to
virtual certificates will help minimise motor insurance fraud by ensuring that
only one motor insurance certificate is issued per vehicle.

Cases of
double insurance, fake certificates and stolen insurance certificates will also
be minimised. Customers will also be able to conveniently get their motor
insurance certificates from wherever they are and at any time.

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