IRA FAQs

  1. Who is IRA?

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) is a Government agency established under the Insurance Act, Cap.487 with a mandate to regulate, supervise and develop insurance sector in Kenya.

  • What is the difference between IRA and AKI?

IRA is a government body that regulates, supervises and develops the insurance industry in Kenya. One of the functions of the Authority is to license all persons involved in or connected with insurance business, including insurance and reinsurance companies, insurance and reinsurance intermediaries, loss adjusters and assessors, risk surveyors and valuers.

On the other hand, the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) was established as an independent non-profit making consultative and advisory body for insurance industry.

AKI’s mission is to champion an enabling environment for our members, and promote growth and excellence in the insurance industry

  • Is NHIF regulated by IRA?

NHIF was established under an act of the parliament which makes them self-regulating. NHIF is not regulated by IRA.

  • Where is IRA located?

Insurance Regulatory Authority is located at Zep-Re place,   Longonot Road- Upper Hill, Nairobi. The Authority has not devolved to the counties.

  • Who finances IRA?

IRA is financed by premium levy which is 1% of the premium paid by an individual/organisation to obtain an insurance cover .The premium levy is paid to the Authority by the insurance company.

  • Are IRA services devolved to the Counties?

IRA is located in Nairobi and has not devolved to the counties. The Authority has initiated programs aimed at increasing access to insurance and enhancing insurance awareness levels at the counties through various consumer Education programs and the ECOP program which trains insurance agents in the counties.

  • How can the public be informed in advance when and where IRA trainings and activities are to take place?

IRA uses social media which include the IRA website, Face book twitter and infomercials on television and radio to inform the public on the Authorities activities in the counties. The information provide is on the upcoming IRA activity and the venue of the activity e.g. ECOP trainings, trainings for champions, road shows, insurance week amongst other activities.

  • Does IRA get involved in development of the insurance products?

IRA has issued guidelines for the development of insurance products Insurance companies are required to adhere to the guidelines. IRA also encourages insurance companies to develop appropriate and relevant insurance products for the market. The Authority approves products before they are introduced to the market

  • What has IRA done to assist victims of Motor accidents who are defrauded by lawyers who have received claim payments from insurers?

Persons who sustain bodily injuries or whose property is damaged arising out of road traffic incidents may file their claims directly with the insurance companies involved. However, where the insurer is not keen on resolving the issue directly with the claimant, one may engage the services of a lawyer. The claimant must ensure that their cases are filed in court within the statutory period. Where judgment has been entered and the lawyer has failed to remit the money, they can seek assistance from IRA who will be able to obtain evidence of payment from the insurer involved. The claimant armed with this evidence can report the matter to the law society of Kenya or to the complaints commission.

  1. Does IRA provide information about genuine and fake insurance companies?

IRA Licenses and regulates all Insurance companies, Insurance brokers agents and all persons involved in or connected with insurance business. A person seeking information about the status of an insurance company may enquire from IRA or visit the Authority’s website which contains the list of licensed industry players.

  1. Are banks selling insurance regulated by IRA or CBK?

IRA regulates and supervises all persons involved in or connected with insurance business including banc assurance agents, insurance brokers, insurance companies and reinsurance companies, loss adjusters and motor assessors, risk surveyors and investigators.

 A bank sells insurance product through an insurance agency which is a subsidiary company of the bank. The insurance agency is a corporate entity which licensed by IRA to sell insurance products.

  1. What is the process and cost of registering a new Insurance Agency
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Proficiency (COP), Executive Certificate of Proficiency (ECOP) or COP exemption from the College Of Insurance. This is the Minimum professional qualification required to register an insurance agency. Higher Insurance qualification eg AIIK diploma, B.com (Insurance Option), ACII are some qualifications acceptable for registration of an insurance company.
  • Register an insurance agency with the Registrar of Companies and obtain a Certificate of Incorporation or Registration of Business Names (where applicable).
  • Certificate of registration of a business name /company should end with the words insurance agency. E.g. Office point insurance agency/ agency ltd scan and upload in soft copies.
  • Visit the IRA website and click on the online registration portal
  • scan and upload the documents required for  registration which incude the following:
  • National ID or Passport of applicant.
  • Details of the banking slip or MPESA transaction number as proof of payment of the registration fee of Kes.!,000
  1. What are the qualifications required to qualify as an Insurance agent?

Obtain a Certificate of Proficiency (COP), Executive Certificate of Proficiency (ECOP) or COP exemption from the College Of Insurance. This is the Minimum professional qualification required to register an insurance agency. Higher Insurance qualification eg AIIK diploma, B.com (Insurance Option), ACII are some qualifications acceptable for registration of an insurance company.

  1. What is the process and cost of registering an insurance company?

The registration requirements of an Insurer are detailed in section 30 and 31 of the Insurance Act Cap 487 of the Laws of Kenya and include the following:

  • An application in the prescribed form together with appendices. The form may be obtained from IRA Offices or our website (www.ira.go.ke).
  • Registration fee of Kshs. 150,000 for insurance companies and Kshs. 250,000 for Reinsurers payable to the Insurance Regulatory Authority.
  • Certified copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company.
  • Certified copy of the Articles and Memorandum of Association of the company.
  • A certified copy of the published prospectus, if any.
  • A feasibility study report as outlined under Regulation 7 of the Insurance Regulations.
  • Paid up share capital as prescribed in the Insurance Act: as may apply under: (a). Long term insurance business of Kshs. 400 million (b). General Insurance business Kshs. 600 million (c). Reinsurance business Kshs. 1.5 billion.
  • Details of the shareholders and shareholding structure of the company.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the principal officer.
  • A statement of all the classes of business the proposer intends to transact. The classes of business are prescribed in the schedules to the Insurance Act and a list may be obtained from the website (www.ira.go.ke).
  • Specimen proposal and policy forms for all the classes of business the proposer intends to transact.
  • The premium rates the proposer intends to apply under each class of business during the year of registration.
  • A certificate in connection with the long term insurance business by an actuary that the premium rates terms and conditions are sound and workable.
  • A detailed statement of assets and liabilities in Kenya at the date of application.
  • Proposed Reinsurance arrangements.
  • A certificate from Central Bank of Kenya specifying the amounts and details of deposits under section 32 of the Insurance Act (equivalent to 5% of the total admitted assets).
  • The proposed contract documents with Insurance Agents and Brokers.
  • A statement of how the company intends to cover its initial administrative costs.
  • The name of the company should be in order and in line with Section 190.

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