New insurance cover for Kenya tourism operators


Hotels, lodges, safari camps and safari/tour operators can now up their insurance covers to internationally-acceptable levels, as a new cover is available through Kenyan insurers backed up through re-insurance arrangements with Lloyds in London. The risk mitigation policy was launched last week in Kenya as the second country in Africa after South Africa and will be adding another component to successfully promoting tourism to Kenya as added insurance security can now be offered to visitors.

In case of an accident in Kenya, safari/tour companies are often targeted with legal cases, as are hotels, resorts, and safari lodges/camps, and not always is such action brought in a Kenyan court but rather abroad, in the home country of the affected victim, a situation the new policy also addresses.

When making further inquiries, this correspondent was told that a range of activities will now be covered like game drives, game walks, the use of boats on rivers, or for fishing, including white water rafting, water sports activities as offered by coastal resorts, horse riding, and the risks in restaurants and hotels over food poisoning.

The new insurance policies are reportedly also covering legal fees; claims for wrongful death, injuries, and illness; and will complement existing insurances for the airlift and medical treatment of tourists, should this be required.

The leading stakeholders this correspondent subsequently was in touch with generally welcomed the new insurance options, although a few had issues over the cost, which in this correspondent’s opinion would give Kenya a competitive edge over their regional competitors. In other countries across Eastern Africa, insurance covers are often laughably low, and in particular in regard of the liability of hotelkeepers, restricted to “peanuts” in line with age-old legislation and regulations. This then often leads to such cases being brought in overseas courts, where settlements and awards are predictably massive and could, in a worst case scenario, bankrupt a lodge, resort, hotel, or safari operators.

It could not be ascertained if the cover would or could be extended to other countries within the East African Community should operators ask for it through their own insurance companies.