If you work hard and sincerely God will reward you. This was the guiding slogan of Mr. Mohamed Afzal Khan who founded M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd 60 years ago. This policy continues to play an important role in the company today as it was six decades ago.
The company started off as an agency in its early years before becoming a fully-fledged brokerage. The years that followed saw the company increase its premiums as clients grew exponentially.
“The then Insurance Commissioner recognized the massive growth of the company and advised M.A Khan to consider being a broker,” says Mr. Mohammed Rehan Khan, the Executive Director.
His sentiments are shared by Mr. Naushad Hakada, the Managing Director and Principal Officer who also says that at its formation the business was a one-man show.
“I joined M.A Khan in 1984 and by then, he had only two staff, a secretary and a messenger. Under his mentorship, I quickly rose the ranks to perform managerial duties in the company.” recalls Mr. Naushad.
Later on Mr. Naushad became a shareholder and a director in the company. Although, M.A Khan passed on in 2018, his legacy lives on. The new crop of directors is determined to propel the company to greater heights with clients’ interests being at the center of their core business.
“We put our clients first, we pride in giving them the best service we have to offer and everything we do is geared towards making their work easier,” shares Mr. Rehan. It is for this reason that our customers stick with us for many years.”
Yet there is more to the company’s success than the increasing number of clients it receives every year.
“I think it boils down to three things,” he adds.
“First, at M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd, Modest, Accountability and knowledge are the pillars that drive us. We know what we do and we consistently focus on it. We work hard to understand the needs of our customers to enable us to serve them better.
And like M.A Khan taught us, we have learnt to develop integrity with our clients and to practice honesty in business.
We are also Humble and accountable in what we do. We advise clients on the best policy that suits them and their business. We also respond to questions that our customers may have. Simply put, we are the eye of the client in their insurance matters.
Secondly, we have been able to utilize a seamless technology to fasten the process of our operations while continuing to maintain personal touch with our clients. In fact, we were among the first insurance brokers to adopt technology in our work.
At M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd, Modest, Accountability and knowledge are the pillars that drive us. We know what we do and we consistently focus on it. We work hard to understand the needs of our customers to enable us to serve them better.
But most of all, and lastly, our enormous experience in the industry continues to give us an edge in the competition curve. We have decades of hands-on experience in the industry and we are well placed to advise clients on their insurance requirements.”
To be able to take up the advisory role more effectively, insurance leaders find themselves with the need to constantly adapt to new and emerging market needs and trends.
For Mr. Naushad, learning never ends. This he says is because the Insurance industry is constantly changing.
For instance, a client could request for a cover that is uncommon in the country yet they must do thorough research to accommodate such needs. Insurance brokers are consultants, whose job is to give people independent advice on various insurance covers from different companies.
M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd understands this role very well allowing the company to minimize misunderstanding in times of claims.
The last thing a client wants to hear is that a claim cannot be paid and so the company works to ensure that they advise clients accordingly. “It is like we have been employed by the client to work on his insurance needs,” explains Mr. Naushad.
The only time when the Insurance Company also known as the underwriter comes in, is at the time of the claim and this is also followed up by the broker including all queries the client might have.
Yet, like any other business, the insurance industry too has challenges. For instance, competition in the market has resulted to price wars in the insurance industry regardless of the risk involved. Also, there are instances when a claim is not paid because the middleman did not do his job well.
This is the reason why an insurance broker must be qualified to advise the buyer. The client must understand the policy and ensure that all what he wants covered is written.
“Risk management is very important in what we do. We must visit our clients to understand the risk involved to determine the premium to be paid,” says Mr. Rehan. “It is sad for a client to insure his property yet when a fire occurs he is told it was not covered against it.”
“Insurance is not meant to profit the insured but restore him to his original financial position before the loss. But we continue to thrive in the market because we take time to understand the client’s needs. We listen to their requirements then go out to the market to source for them,” he explains.
As for the notion that insurance companies have poor records when it comes to claims settlement, Mr. Naushad says both parties have a role to play. He advises that once a loss occurs it is imperative that the client gives the assessors full information to quicken the process.
Risk management is very important in what we do. We must visit our clients to understand the risk involved to determine the premium to be paid.
But as the directors explain, M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd continues to play a major role as an adviser to ensure matters of claims settlement are carried out in a professional manner and thus avoid conflict and delays with clients.
And after serving East Africa for decades, the company now seeks to spread its wings in the region with their eyes set at Tanzania and Uganda.
“We see East Africa as a major growth frontier in Sub Saharan Africa and we see key business emerging that will require insurance services. The local market is saturated and we are looking to expand more and more in the region,” the directors say.
Mr. Naushad and Mr. Rehan advise Kenyans to embrace insurance saying that it helps mitigate risks.
“Some people believe that insurance is for the rich. But it is important to know losses can occur to anyone and insurance seeks to ensure that the client does not feel the loss.”
In recent years, the company has seen a rise in the uptake of Workman Compensation, Contractor all Risks, Motor insurance and Marine insurance.
“We have also seen an increase in the number of people seeking to insure their gadgets for example phones and laptops. Jewelry is being insured too,” says Mr. Naushad.
They both see a bright future for M.A Khan Insurance Brokers Ltd saying they will continue to rely on their superb client service expertise and experienced amassed over the years to win more and more clients.
“Sixty years is no little experience, we have the qualification needed for the job and our services speak for themselves.
We are also backed by a hardworking staff that is willing to go out of its way to ensure work is done and as M.A Khan told us, hard work never goes to waste. We surely believe that our hard work will always be rewarded.”