EAISA out to address low insurance penetration

DAR ES SALAAM: EAST African Insurance Supervisors’ Association (EAISA) has intensified efforts in raising public awareness on the importance of insurance services and products for the development of the sector in all member states.

It was revealed that East African countries are faced with low insurance penetration and lack of awareness among its people on insurance services and products.

This comes after the discussion on matters related to the insurance sector in member countries during the 19th meeting of EAISA Executive Committee held in Dar es Salaam on Friday.

Among other things, the meeting discussed ways to make the citizens understand insurance services and products, increase the number of people who use insurance products and explore digital opportunities in providing insurance services to the East African people.

East African insurance markets have similar challenges including lack of people’s awareness on insurance products, negative attitude of citizens on insurance and the challenge of accessibility of insurance products to the citizens.

Speaking during the meeting, Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware said that TIRA continues to urge citizens to buy insurance products to protect themselves from property, health and life threats.

Dr Saqware said TIRA has a strategic plan to ensure citizens join insurance services in the country, adding that the plan will ensure that more than 50 per cent of Tanzanians use insurance products by 2030.

The TIRA boss added that EAC member states have various unique ways of operations, adding that insurance markets are almost at the same level of development.

He noted that the existence of the association was crucial for members to share knowledge.

“This is highly appreciated and the blend of subcommittee’s members with different backgrounds helped the countries to have a balanced exchange of diverse views for the benefit of regional insurance market.

“We discussed rewarding innovative ideas, specifically on development of insurance products that will add value to our respective countries,” he said.

For his side, Chairman of the National Insurance Board (NIB) CPA Moremi Marwa urged the supervisors and practitioners in the insurance industry to provide policy advice on how best the countries can unleash the potential of the industry.

“EAISA is in the process of developing “Strategic Plan.” My call to you is to continue working together and involve the governments of the respective countries when necessary to develop this important document,” he said.

According to CPA Marwa, EAC economies are faced with several threats and vulnerabilities that require protection through insurance. Also, the region faces similar challenges in insurance market.

“If the insurance industry is to support government plans in attaining the sustainable development goals, more needs to be done to reach out to the uninsured and insured in our regional markets… As you are aware, the issue of financial inclusion is not just a national agenda but also a regional agenda,” he added.

Moreover, CPA Marwa called on TIRA to ensure an increase in the availability of insurance services to enhance the nation’s income and ultimately support the efforts made by the government in bringing development to the citizens.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of EAISA and Chief Executive Officer of Insurance Regulatory Authority in Uganda, Mr Alhaj Kaddunabbi Lubega said the meeting also agreed to standardise the insurance compensation for the victims of transit vehicle accidents.

“We agreed to standardise the compensation of transit vehicle’s accidents by choosing the country that pays higher compensation than others and make it applicable for all EAC member states,” he noted.

He also said that the EAISA strategic plan will be launched in Kenya in January next year.

The five-day EAISA meeting was hosted by TIRA and drew participants from regional insurance regulators including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

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