Inadequate Insurance Claims Reserving and Financial Distress in Non-Life Insurance Companies in Kenya: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

John Mose Michira, Agnes Njeru, Florence Memba


Financial distress (FD) is a common occurrence in Kenyan commercial sector and is not lacking in non-life insurance companies in Kenya. Several insurance companies have been placed under statutory management for failure to pay genuine claims and other creditors. Insurance companies provide unique financial services, not only to individuals but also to the growth and development of the economy; giving employment to workers and dividends to investors. Financial distress places insurable properties and businesses at risk thus reducing the general public confidence in the insurance sector. For this paper, the goal was to investigate whether inadequate reserving of claims (IRC) causes financial distress in non-life insurance companies in Kenya. In accounting for insurance claims reserves, increases in reserves mean a reduction of profitability of an insurer, whereas a decrease in reserves increases the profitability resulting in higher taxation and payment of dividends, which drains the insurer’s cash flow, thus causing financial distress. Out of 37 non-life insurance companies, registered in 2018 in Kenya, four insurers were subjected to Pilot Testing and another four companies declined to participate in the survey. Secondary data from Insurance Regulatory Authority website was retrieved for calculations of Z-scores as per Altman (1993), amended formula. Primary data was also collected through a questionnaire. A partial least squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was employed to assess the mediating effect of Insurance Regulatory Association (IRA) supervision on the association between inadequate reserving of claims and financial distress. Goodness-of-fit (GoF) indices were used to assess the model’s goodness of fit. By using the discriminative Z-score formula, 52% of the institutions considered in 2018 were financially distressed, compared to 48% in 2017. However, when considering the average of ten years (2009 to 2018), financially distressed..............

Keywords: Non-life  insurance  companies,  Policyholders,  Insurance  Regulatory  Authority,  Claims Reserving, Z-Scores, Structural Equation Modelling

DOI: 10.7176/RJFA/12-12-06

Publication date:June 30th 2021


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