Economic uncertainty weighs down insurance

Taurai Mangudhla

ZIMRE Holdings Ltd chief operating officer Solomon Tembo says while the insurance industry has improved, the sector continues to face operational challenges owing to economic uncertainty.

Tembo, organising chair of the upcoming 38th Africa Insurance Company (AIO) scheduled for Victoria Falls this May, said the insurance sector continues to adapt to the dynamic environment. He said a lot could still be done by the lawmakers to create a conducive environment for insurance, especially life insurance.
He said: “Whilst we continue to adapt and come up with preparatory strategies, official authorities can assist by putting in place measures to safeguard our operations”.
He said the sector’s biggest challenge was largely dealing with their clients who generally feel robbed and hard done by as their savings were eroded after the country’s currency change from the Zimbabwean dollar to a multicurrency system.
“Our average pension fund investor remains fearful of yet another flawed investment, what they normally ask is what will happen in the event Zimbabwe changes currency again. This affects long-term insurance packages”.
Tembo also encouraged fellow insurance brokers to share ideas and predict possible threats to the industry.
He said people who had acquired policies in foreign currency had used a sound adaptive strategy.
“Whilst the Zimbabwean dollar is an internationally recognized currency, some people obtained policies in foreign currency in 2008 and before. This was cautious given the then hyper inflationary environment,” said Tembo.
He urged players in the local insurance industry to support the “prestigious” AIO conference and general assembly.
“With the support of other local stakeholders, the event will be a success; this will not only be a platform to share expert ideas but to showcase what you as a company and individual are made of,” he added.

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