Zimbabwe’s newly appointed Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) commissioner Grace Muradzikwa has said that the country’s insurance industry has shown resilience despite economic turbulence.
In an interview with The Standard, she said that the insurance and pension industry is generally safe and stable, registering good growth in terms of gross premiums written and assets.
She said, “I see massive potential for a rebound as government implements the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and foster macroeconomic stabilisation programmes that should spur strong performance of the economy, which underpins the insurance industry performance.
“Like any other sector of the economy, the industry has its own challenges. I hope through collaborative efforts between the government, IPEC as the regulator, and insurance and pension players, we will be able to come up with measures to navigate these challenges.”
Currently, major challenges in the insurance sector include low consumer confidence, assets/liabilities mismatches, inability to meet minimum capital requirements by some entities, unpredictable rising claims cost, loss of profitability and product relevance.
Referring to the issue of compensation and payouts, she added, “What is critical for me is to bring closure to the issue given that the industry has spent too much time discussing history and it is high time that we look into the future to reposition the role of the insurance and pensions industry in socio-economic development.”
She was referring to the devaluation of pension and policyholder accounts during Zimbabwe’s hyper-inflation period. Benefits and claims were eroded during the conversion of values from the Zimbabwe currency to the US dollar during the February 2009 period.
Ms Muradzikwa, who was appointed as IPEC head last month, said, “I have already started engagements with captains of industry to establish common understanding on the way forward.
“It is high time that we bury legacy challenges, stop the blame game and discussing history and move into the future.”
Source: Middle East Insurance Review