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Insurers challenged on innovation, efficiency

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By Deogratias Mmana:

Insurance companies in the country have been urged to move with the changing world in providing solutions to risks.

Minet Malawi General Manager Lester Chinyang’anya made the call on Saturday during the Insurance Institute of Lilongwe annual dinner.

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He said insurance companies need to think fast to provide solutions to risks because the world is becoming more developed and complicated.

“The insurance fraternity needs to come up with tangible solutions to these challenges. Malawians out there expect the insurance industry to come up with watertight solutions and safety nets to the challenges,” Chinyang’anya said.

He said the industry has not done much on poverty reduction in the country. He said the sector needs to facilitate insurance for the poor and small-to-medium scale enterprises to protect them from natural and man-made risks.

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He also challenged the sector to come up with new products for existing and new markets as one way of increasing insurance penetration which, he said, is at a meagre two percent, making Malawi one of the countries with lowest penetration in the region.

“Microfinance for the rural masses is one such product,” he said.

He disclosed that the Insurance Association of Malawi and the Reserve Bank of Malawi are working to modernise the insurance industry through the introduction of cash and carry systems vis-à-vis purchase of insurance products and adoption of minimum rates.

“Perhaps, Malawi is the only market in the region where insurance is bought on credit. Customers can default on their premium obligations and do not have minimum rates. I hope that authorities will see to it that these changes and directives are debated adequately and made operative without delay,” Chinyang’anya said.

Insurance Institute of Lilongwe new president Tayambanso Namwaza said the dinner was organised to foster unity in the industry and promote education training to all stakeholders.

Namwaza said the Lilongwe chapter is an educational body of the insurance industry players in Malawi.

During the event, a new council led by Namwaza was unveiled.

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