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Insurers tipped on diversification

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Insurance companies in the country have been challenged to come up with products and services which can help cover clients when natural disasters occur.

Group Chief Executive Officer for Press Corporation George Partridge said this in Mangochi when he made a keynote address at this year’s Insurance Institute of Malawi (IIM) lakeshore conference which was held from Friday to Sunday.

Partridge said Malawi, just like other countries in the world, is facing a lot of challenges necessitated by natural disasters such as Covid, floods and drought, hence the need for professionals to be innovative.

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He said insurance companies should devise means of covering businesses that might have been affected by the natural disasters to mitigate the impact.

“The insurance sector is very crucial to any economy. There is a need to find ways of mitigating the challenges which businesses are facing as a result of Covid and other natural disasters,” he said.

Currently, the insurance industry boasts of a combined capital and turn over for general and life insurance of about K132 billion.

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Also, the Pension Act which was passed few years ago has helped propel growth of the sector.

Partridge further observed that the local insurance industry was not growing at a rate which could easily facility economic growth.

This, he said, is partly as a result of some unprofessional conduct by players in the sector.

“Insurers sell promises to people. But there are incidences when the insurers have been failing to fulfill their promises to their clients. You have to be very honest because failure to discharge your duties professionally will discourage a lot of Malawians from buying policies,” he said.

IIM President Masautso Malaicha said it was difficult for most insurance companies to cover natural disasters due to balance sheet problems.

“We cannot have enough capital to cater for disaster-related polices. However, we are slowly introducing some policies which are along those lines. For instance, insurance companies are now covering crops against drought or floods,” he said,

Malaicha then revealed that, within the Covid pandemic scope, local insurance companies have paid a lot of money to families of people that died of the pandemic.

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