Overhaul Africa’s insurance legislation

Business News of Friday, 5 April 2013

Source: Daily Guide


Feyi Soyewo, Chairman of the Africa Insurance Brokers Association (AIBA), has called for a new insurance legislation to strengthen insurance brokers to play their role effectively.

Dr Soyewo, who is also Executive Chairman of Prestige Insurance Brokers, Nigeria, said the introduction of the new legislation would enhance growth and capacity-building for local insurance brokers to enable them compete favourably on the international market.

He disclosed this while delivering a paper in a series of public lectures on the topic: “The broker, your gateway to the insurance market.” The lecture formed part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA). He said in Africa, the insurer broker plays a critical role in ensuring that clients and the companies get a fair deal of the insurance policy.

“Insurance brokers have become the most common way of insurance distribution in most countries and serve as the link between insurers and insurance consumers.” Explaining further, he said in most African insurance markets, majority of policy holders are not literate enough to be able to read and understand insurance policy documents.

As a result, he said such policy holders are not aware of the conditions attached to the insurance contract entered into. Furthermore, he pointed out that even among the literate policy holders, not many of them have the time to go through policy documents to understand the terms and conditions of the policy.

“Even when the so-called ‘small prints’ are now made bigger, the poor attitude to reading still prevents many from reading,” he noted. Dr. Soyewo therefore observed that the intervention of insurance brokers, especially in the African Market, is crucial as it helps to make insurance beneficial to policy holders.

He said the brokers interpret the policy conditions to the insured and reject obnoxious ones on behalf of their clients and also ensures compliance especially at the time of claim resulting in prompt fair and equitable settlement. He said, “It is the duty of the broker to advise the insured on all necessary steps to be taken in processing the claim and ensure a prompt, fair and an equitable settlement.”

He also encouraged GIBA to collaborate with insurance companies in order to achieve their goal, adding that the populace can be educated on insurance policies through collaboration. GIBA President, Rev. Asante Marfo-Ahenkora, said the anniversary lecture was to let the public know the importance of insurance brokers in the undertaking of an insurance policy.

He said the anniversary is also to trumpet the fact that insurance brokers exist to assist clients when purchasing insurance policies. “We want to let people know that we are there to support them to make the right choices in buying insurance policies,” he said.