An investigation into Accessibility of Insurance Services among Women owned enterprises in Kenya( A case of Thika District)
Mbugua, Gerald Kuria
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The insurance sector plays a critical role in economic development in a country. By introducing risk pooling and reducing the impact of large losses on firms and households, the sector reduces the amount of capital that would be needed to cover losses individually, encouraging additional output, investment, innovation, and competition. The sector can also improve the efficiency of other segments of the financial sector, such as banking and bond markets by enhancing the value of collateral through property insurance, and reducing losses at default through credit guarantees and enhancements. The study sought to establish the accessibility of insurance services among women in small and medium enterprises in Thika district. Specifically the study aimed at determining the effects of level of knowledge and skills, sociocultural factors that affect accessibility to insurance, cost of insurance and the effects of perception and attitude toward risks and on accessibility of insurance among businesswomen in Thika . The population of the study comprised women in Small and Medium Enterprises registered and licensed by Thika municipal registry Department by December 2012 totaling to 1451 businesses. A 10% sample size totaling to 145 respondents was used as a representative sample. Descriptive statistics such as means, standard deviation and frequency distribution were used to analyze the data and the findings.were presented using bar graphs, pie..charts and frequency table The study .found that cost of insurance, level of knowledge and skills and perception and attitude toward risks greatly affect the accessibility of insurance service among women in Thika district for instance majority of the correspondents considered high premium charged that does not match the perceived benefits. However social cultural factors such as the role of women and family do not affect the accessibility to insurance. the study recommends that although there is more financial advice from insurance companies to SMEs, there is need to have concerted efforts to translate the increased awareness to purchase of business related insurance services. This should be thought insurance seminars, trade fairs and exhibitions and testimonials where entrepreneurs are sensitized on the importance of insurance policies in the management of business risks. There should be efforts to change the negative perceptions towards risk protection and attitude towards the benefits of insurance services among women in small and medium enterprises.