Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the insurance industry in Zambia, mid-year unaudited results for insurers show some growth in the sector, Insurers Association of Zambia president Ms Christabel Banda.
The combined industry GWP for 1H2020 stood at ZMW2.6bn ($157m). General insurance business generated premiums of ZMW1.7bn while long term business raked in premiums of ZMW905m, reported The Mast. No comparative figures, however, were provided.
The impact of COVID-19 on the sector is yet to be fully appreciated, says Ms Banda. However, the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has issued guidelines to the industry to provide a framework for not only assessing the effect of COVID-19 on their businesses but also providing guidance on matters of treating customers fairly.
Total Gross Written Premium in the Zambian insurance market increased to ZMW3.8bn in 2019, 19% higher than the ZMW3.2bn posted in 2018. This resulted in an insurance penetration rate of 2.63% in 2019 as compared to 2.29% in 2018.
General insurance business increased by 6% from ZMW1.9bn in 2018 to ZMW2.3bn in 2019 with the sector recording a 14% increase in net claims. Long term insurance business also continued to grow and increased by 15% to ZMW1.5bn in 2019 from ZMW1.3bn in 2018,” she said.
PIA acting registrar and CEO Tresford Chiyavula said at an insurance event last week, that studies had shown that one of the main reasons why people do not buy insurance is the lack of information on insurance.
He said that there is a need to strengthen public confidence in insurance. He revealed that the PIA is currently working on strengthening the regulatory framework for the industry to give policyholders the assurance that their insurance policies are secure and that their claims would be paid promptly when lodged.
He said all companies offering motor insurance, household or contents insurance, homeowners insurance, funeral and life insurance policies are now required to issue a statement of key facts to customers.
At present, there are 30 insurance companies in the country with nine life insurance and 21 general insurance companies. There are also four reinsurers.