08 February 2024

Britam, Tana River County Government in MoU to Scale Flood Insurance

Nairobi, February 8, 2024… Britam and the Tana River County Government have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a significant step towards scaling the Index-Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) policy to cover more families in the County. The scaling of the coverage is designed to safeguard and enhance the resilience of communities against the impacts of floods.

The Governor of Tana River County, His Excellency Major (Rtd) Dhadho Gaddae Godhana, expressed optimism about the collaboration noting that the impact of the innovative solutions was already evident following last December’s payout to individuals and families that lost their livelihoods to floods.
“This MoU marks a crucial step towards building resilience and ensuring that our people have access to much-needed protection against the unpredictable nature of floods," said Major (Rtd) Godhana.

Tom Gitogo, Britam's Group Managing Director, highlighted the importance of partnership with the County in delivering on the company's social impact goals. He observed that the collaboration underscores Britam’s commitment to leveraging insurance as a tool for social good.
"By expanding the reach of our flood insurance product, we aim to be a catalyst in the economic transformation of the Tana River region, enabling families to focus on improving their lives without worrying about potential loss caused by floods,” said Gitogo.

The signing of the MOU comes two months after 300 households in Madogo Ward, Tana River County, received sh14.1 million in compensation for the losses resulting from the enhanced-rainfall flooding incident in Upper Tana. The claim was paid under the IBFI policy, designed to cushion small-scale farmers residing in flood-prone areas from the catastrophic effects of floods.

Launched in May 2023, IBFI is a result of a partnership between Britam, Oxfam in Kenya and global reinsurer Swiss Re. Other players in the partnership include Risk Shield and Arid Lands Development Focus (ALDEF), which is Oxfam’s implementing partner in Upper Tana. IBFI was developed using data modelling and satellite imagery to predetermine flood thresholds and provide coverage at an affordable cost. The IBFI product is especially valuable for those who live in areas with a high risk of flooding but may not have access to conventional property insurance products.

Britam’s Director of Emerging Consumers, Mr. Saurabh Sharma, noted that pilot with Oxfam demonstrated that insurance could protect communities against adverse weather events by paying a quick claim payout. “We will be aiming to scale up the program to cover the entire population that is vulnerable to flood risk now that we have the support of the county government,” said Sharma.

The MoU provides an opportunity to leverage the strengths and resources of the parties to address the pressing challenges faced by the communities in the Tana River region. Through this collaboration, both parties will work together to cause change in the delivery of insurance services and create a meaningful impact in the lives of those most affected by the devastating consequences of floods.

Data shows that floods will become a frequent menace in Kenya, thanks to climate change. Public-private partnership is the ideal way to scale up such solutions where innovation of the private sector is combined with the governance model of the local government.