Insurance firms in panic as new entrants join market

The entry of foreign insurance firms into the local market is keeping indegenous companies on their toes as they try to devise means to keep clients and attract new ones.
Twahirwa says SONARWA is ready for the competition.  The New Times/File
Twahirwa says SONARWA is ready for the competition. The New Times/File

The entry of foreign insurance firms into the local market is keeping indegenous companies on their toes as they try to devise means to keep clients and attract new ones.

“The coming of new entrants into the market has jolted us to work harder to give Rwandans the best,” said Tonny Twahirwa, the SONARWA Life Insurance acting managing director.

Twahirwa said the firm and its local counterparts needed to double their efforts to offer customers better services if they were to stay competitive.

He was speaking during the launch of the insurer’s commercial year last week, where excelling sales agents were also recognised and rewarded.

Recently, Kenya-based insurance company, UAP Kenya, and Radiant set up shop in Rwanda.

The country has over 10 insurance companies, two of which are foreign-based.

Twahirwa said, apart from capacity building, the firm’s sales agents were awarded regularly to show them that the company appreciates their efforts.

He said the firm was ready for the competition.

Allen Karungi Gatete, the SONARWA corporate communications manager, said the firm aimed to grow its clientele base this year, adding that training of agents was a necessary tool to ensure this objective was achieved.

“We reward excelling agents each year to motivate them,” said Gatete.

SONARWA was recently split into two companies; SONARWA Life Assurance and SONARWA General Insurance Company Limited. The two firms are, however, managed independently and were also registered as two different firms at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

The insurance sector performance improved progressively last year, with total assets reaching Rwf214b compared to Rwf157b in 2011. This indicated a 36 per cent growth.

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