Increasing road accidents in Kenya are causing heavy losses to the country’s insurance industry making it ‘unprofitable’, a top official from the industry has said.

At least 65% of the total claims paid by insurance firms in 2008 were for road accidents, causing the insurers to pay around $136m (Sh 10.3bn).

In all, the motor insurance premium totalled to $211m (Sh 15.9bn) in 2008 forming 42% of all insurance premiums taken up by insurers.

Association of Kenya Insurers executive director Tom Gichuhi said if the country is able to reduce accidents by 50%, which is the African goal, it will halve deaths, injuries and claims and the money saved could be used to grow the economy elsewhere.

The country reports over 3,000 road fatalities every year.