Posted by: Armel | February 28, 2008

INSURANCE TO THE RESCUE ?

riots2.jpginsurance.jpg    

Once again the need for people to get insurance coverage to edge their losses against the kind of destruction we’ve seen so far in all regions of Cameroon cannot be overstated.

Over the years, insurers have struggle to convince the general public of the importance and the need for this kind of insurance policies in case of unforeseen events (like now). But, just as it is the case for life Insurance products, people don’t feel the need or the urge to get that kind of coverage. Hell, they barely agree to get their cars insured ! But businesses especially those that also lost their safes, are going to find it hard to cope and recover financially once it’s all over. I personally asked one industry insider (Top-rated) about total payouts estimates coming out of the crisis (for the entire industry). Depending on those pay-outs, we will probably see a rise in “Building” risk premiums or a declination of coverage in the future in case of Civil Unrest or Riots like this one.

The other issue I see forecoming is for those who already had insured their commercial and private properties against all kind of damages. Commercial property & homeowners policies generally include coverage for loss caused by “riot or civil commotion”. Those policy holders might be lucky in Cameroon if that definition clearly differantiates damages caused by riot or civil commotion to those caused by war, civil war, insurrection, rebellion attack or any government using defense forces () In Chad, following the recent putsch attempt, stores and commercial buildings owners weren’t that lucky, their insurance claims were denied because of the specicfic distinctions between these words: unrest, civil protest, riots, civil war, war, military action. So while I cannot YET, question the intentions of local insurance underwritters, all I know for sure is that it’s goin’ to be a rough period for policy holders. so let’s wait and see…

Armel Njeunou

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Responses

  1. The real problem with the insurance industry in Africa in general and particularly in Cameroon, is the lack of trust and accountability. Preople don’t trust their insurance company that collect premiums most of the time and never pay back the claims. So if with auto Insurance that is mandatory for all the users, insurance companies can not pay claims why would those user want to sign up for home insurance that is not mandatory and where the chance of getting damages are slim?

  2. Eric you are right.
    Thats exactly why more people can’t trust that they gonna do the right thing when its time to act and pay! All I can say is that the Insurance company that’s gonna start honoring their responsabilities to the clients without lenghty (wasteful) procedures, and pay up when the contract requires them to, is going to take over most of the market.

  3. A good insurance policy can save you from many hazards.


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