Posted by: Armel | March 26, 2008

CAMEROON: Insurance Companies Failures


A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the shortcomings of the insurance companies in Cameroon especially following the riots. The point I was trying to make was that people were observing what the Insurance industry was going to do after the destruction. Under the current circumstances, many business owners don’t believe in insurance coverage! They just have no faith of any sort that they would receive payments if their properties were damaged. And history trends give them reasons to believe so. Personally, I thought that this was an opportunity for Insurance companies to correct some wrongs here. This was their chance to change the belief of a lot of people. The Insurance industry could have decided to help building owners rebuild easily. They should have tried to use this occasion to show that they actually care about the victims and were willing to work with them under the circumstances. The whole operations would have received media coverage and more people would change their mind about how helpful insurance coverage really helps.

But Insurance companies dropped the ball once again. In this article from Reperes publication, even policy holders that had their properties insured would not get any compensation. Although technically riots and uprisings do not qualify as accidental events covered under most policies, this rule should have been circumvented for this special occasion. People in the general public need a reason to believe that Insurance coverage is relevant and helpful, that insurance companies are not just crooks and thieves. It was a unique opportunity to build that case, that opportunity is now gone!



  1. This is the problem with most of the African Insurance companies.They are there just to collect the premiums.If you look at some of these policies carefulyy, it says in small letter”IN EVENT OF ANY LOSSES,CLAIMS ARE NOT PAYABLE’


  3. well for me i still believe that the mystery behind insurance is yet to be unvailed as the insurers extord very exorbitant amount of money from prospects in times of payments but when it comes to claims they are never there so well we pray that one day we the policy makers would be treated faily enough

  4. i am a student professionally studying insurance and will say the problem does not arise from the insurance companies but from the policy holders either not understanding the terms and contract thyey are going in for or because they dont disclose thr true material facts of what if to be insured against;thank you

  5. It’s the customer’s right to know what he’s getting into, in terms of coverage. So the insurer has the duty to pass that information over to his client. But true, some companies may not necessarily pay claims, and in which case it’s not hard to know them.
    The bottom line is that if your claim is worthy of payment, then the Insurance company has the duty to pay. It’s pure and simple

  6. Insurance is very important and rudimentary to any growing economy. There is too much risk all arround us and the only method of mitigating the consequences of any catatrophic event is to insure against potential risk of loss. Insurance accept all kinds of risks, however, most insurance limit their exposure to risk and some risks are excluded.just to protect the company from entering into Bankcruptcy. Some risks, such as, earthquakes, natural disasters, riots, intentional events etc. are excluded, however, some of these risks can be protected against with endorsements or additional amendments to the main policy. Again a seperate policy for a particular risk can be purchased.

    Most insurance companies are in the business to make money for their shareholders, as such, risks, such as riots, floods and intentional events etc, may not be undertaken in an unstable economy or in a political institution where the potential for major losses are present. Read your policies carefully and do not assume a risk is covered when it may not be or may be excluded. I beleive if those whose buildings were destroyed during the riots find that their policies cover riots, then they are legally covered and must seek redress in the court of law if the insurance compaies refuse to pay claims.

  7. Insurance is defined as the transfer of risk from one party called the insured to the other the insurer whereby the insurer agrees in consideration of an agreed premium to indemnify the insured against any accidental loss or damage resulting from the loss insured against.

    Therefore with the above definition i must say that the negative mind the insured has against the insurance company is a call for concern because the insurer don’t take time to explain to the insured what he is buying, if this is not done the insured will never understand the terms of the policy.let us take it this way, and the rules should be applicable to all insurance companies in Cameroon that if an insured don’t want to read the policy he should not be given the policy.

    I will suggest that the government should approved few insurance companies who can pay claims to parties involve in a loss regardless of who is at fault at least a token ,with this it will make people outside to have confidence again with insurance companies in Cameroon because insurance is really a necessity.

    • Insurance in Cameroon will remain poorly developed and the public exploited so long as corruption last. Experts are few in the domain and the old folks are too stringent; They hardly want to embrace new reports and consider research proposals in the field.

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