Kenya’s healthcare insurers have recorded an unexpected profit amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year as patients avoided hospitals visits due to the fear of containing the virus. The country’s healthcare insurers made profits worth $8 million over the half year period of 2020, marking a record performance since the preceding year’s half year profit of $2 million.
The $8 million profit is considered 3.2 higher than the profit made earlier by the insurers in 2019. The record figure has now placed the country’s insurers in a robust position to continue to recover from the 2018’s $11 million loss.
Tom Gichuhi, the chief executive of the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), told the media, “Many people avoided going to hospitals for fear of contracting Covid-19. There was highly reduced traffic to hospitals and even those seeking elective surgeries were also postponing. People were also working from home and therefore for simple ailments which could otherwise drive heavy traffic to hospitals, people avoided.”
Only 7 insurers, out of 27 insurers recorded loss. The development also marks a drastic improvement in the Kenyan healthtech insurance segment where 16 companies out of the 24 recorded dip in 2019.The medical insurers have driven Kenya’s hospitals over tests at are administered to patients including expensive drug usage and carry out complex treatments.
The global healthcare insurers have remained afloat during the pandemic. The medical insurance business is considered as the second-largest class of short-term insurance business after motor insurance, in terms of gross written premium.