News broke yesterday in Kenya that AIG Kenya will be offering travel insurance for tourists comparable to what international insurance companies offer in terms of coverage and benefits. One of Kenya’s biggest challenges was to deal with the fallout of anti-travel advisories, which regularly prompts insurers overseas in the tourist source countries to decline applications for a travel insurance. This then often results in a potential visitor to Kenya not being able to take the trip in the absence of insurance cover, which is thought to have kept thousands of potential tourists away from the country.
Leading tourism trade associations have worked with Kenya’s insurance sector to provide a much needed local alternative, at similar cost and offering similar benefits compared to packages which are available overseas. It was AIG which took up the challenge and rose to the occasion, even covering the very unlikely event of a tourist being caught up in a terrorist incident, an item not regularly available for travelers when purchasing travel insurance at home before they set out on their journey.
AIG Kenya is the local subsidiary of global insurance giant AIG and as such a partner in this venture capable of underwriting such risks. Insurance cover for visitors to Kenya can be arranged and paid for in advance as part of the client’s value added service packages through their inbound safari or tour operators which in turn will source an insurance policy through a broker or directly with AIG.
This development is seen as a crucial stepping stone on the way towards tourism recovery for Kenya and in particular the coast, where visitors now can buy peace of mind with a travel insurance cover.
The move will no doubt be watched with keen interest in other countries where sharpish anti-travel advisories have resulted in travel insurance companies declining to offer cover to tourists, now that a local equitable solution is available. Kenya leading the way and showing it still got what it takes to revive tourism’s flagging fortunes.