Insurance operators urged to expand capacity to absorb more risks

Insurance companies across Africa have been urged to expand their capacity to absorb more risk, in a bid to retain more risk locally. The experts, who spoke at just-concluded 45th African Insurance Organization (AIO) in Accra, Ghana, said, currently, most insurance risks across Africa, are ceded abroad, thereby, depriving the local market of the needed profits that ought to accrue from underwriting such risks as a result of low risk retention capacity of African insurers.

The experts added that the African continent represent the next phase of world economic growth, charging players in African insurance industry to try as much as possible to retain risk businesses on the continent rather than taking them abroad.

The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who also charged African operators, said in developed economies, insurance companies own banks, but the reverse is the case on the continent, and called on African governments to support their respective insurance industry to succeed.

The President, who was represented by the Senior Minister of Finance, Yaw Osafo Maafo, said: “Insurance industry has lots of long term fund that can be effectively utilized to bring about the needed economic growth and development on the continent.”

While calling on operators to increase their risk retention capacity, believes Africa, will, in the next 10 years, develop “its full capacities as foreign investors continue to see potential and opportunities in the African insurance market.”

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lloyd’s of London, Inga Beale, urged insurance outfits to embrace the latest technologies to fasten claims process, noting that, policyholders must be served through latest technology that will make claims process seamless and timely.

She said: “With the latest technology, you should have records of claims and be able to track it. We need to provide the customers with necessity to track their claims.” On his part, the Special Advisor, Leapfrog Strategic African Investments (LSAI), Doug Lacey, said customers remain the most asset of any business, charging African underwriters to develop better relationships with policyholders up to understanding their personal life.

Through this, he said, products would be tailored towards meeting the needs of individual customers, rather than a stereotype approach of assuming what the customers need. “For effective service delivery to customers, insurers must adopt human-centric approach rather than product-centric approach in product delivery. The human aspect is very important to the industry. We must be ambitious to provide the best services to our customers.

“We don’t need to assume that everybody has the same needs. So, use technology to determine what each and every individual wants. Technology reaches more people than the traditional means of service delivery,” he pointed out.

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