Kenya: Insurers allowed to open Islamic windows

May 11, 2015

Insurers have until December 2015 to comply with regulatory requirements.

The Kenyan insurance market regulation authority has authorised insurance companies to provide takaful products through Islamic windows from June.

Insurers have until December 2015 to comply with regulatory requirements, according to a document of the Kenyan Insurance Regulatory Authority.

They will have to publish their financial statements separately and submit their operational model to the approval of a council of Muslim scholars, reports the Ecofin agency.

The Islamic finance sector has a high development potential in Kenya, with only two per cent penetration to the total banking business.

Islamic banking could reach a double-digit growth rate within the next five years, given that 10 per cent of the country's population is Muslim.

Kenya's large Muslim community and the growing demand for Islamic finance and insurance are forcing financial institutions and insurance companies to evolve and adapt in order to take advantage of this market.

Since the introduction of Islamic finance in the country in 2008, two Islamic banks (providing only Sharia-compliant products) have been created, and many commercial banks and insurance companies now offer Islamic finance and insurance products, called Takaful.

The first Islamic reinsurance product in Kenya was launched by the Kenya Reinsurance Corporation in 2014.