Insurance firms expected to pay out thousands of dollars in compensation to Kenyan schools whose properties have been destroyed in a wave of arson.
This year, students have burnt down dormitories, dining halls and destroyed other assets in more than 50 schools.
The schools have been closed and some students charged in court as the government continues with investigations into factors that could have triggered unrest in schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said preliminary investigations showed that the unrest could be a response to the cancellation of some KCSE examination results last year due to cheating.
“The impact of the school burning threatens to undermine communities’ peaceful co-existence and costs the country significant financial losses,” reads the Rapid Assessment of Arson in Secondary Schools in Kenya Report by the National Crime Research Centre.
Schools have taken out fire policy and two separate teams have urged schools management to install fire detectors.
“The wording on the fire policies is crucial as it is in all classes of insurance, and as such, a standard fire policy usually extends cover to riots and strikes, special perils and malicious damage,” said insurance underwriter Stephen Kimweli.
According to Mr Kimweli, an insurance company will pay the value of the school property destroyed, which includes the buildings and permanent fittings.
Most schools have insured school structures, beds, tables and chairs, kitchen equipment and classroom desks, but students’ personal effects are not covered.
“It is only in special cases where students’ personal effects are declared on what is to be covered by the insurance, that they will be compensated,” added Mr Kimweli.
Insurance works on a principle of utmost good faith and it is the obligation of the insured school not to withhold any crucial information when entering the contract, violation of the principles of insurance could lead to the insurance company not honouring a claim incurred.