Insurance is a key enabler for all economies and now is the time for insurers to step up and embrace new products to widen the scope of their protection. That was the view of Zimbabwe’s minister of finance, the Hon Professor Mthuli Ncube as he opened the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Insurers Association’s (OESAI) CEOs and Regulators Summit at Victoria Falls.
The first summit of its kind attracted a mix of physical and virtual attendees from across the continent. OESAI chair Patty Karuaihe-Martin said: “Many insurers across the region were already vulnerable before Covid-19, however the pandemic has placed significant pressure on the manner in which insurance business is conducted. It has disrupted providers’ engagement with both regulators and consumers, and placed additional requirements on industry in terms of regulatory expectation. Because of the pandemic, insurers and regulators are now more concerned about low investment income, operational expenses, liquidity and maintaining minimum capital.”
Dr Grace Muradzikwa, commissioner general of IPEC in Zimbabwe, (pictured) told the delegates: “While the Covid-19 pandemic came with a lot of negative disruptions, it also accelerated the digitalisation of both supervisory processes and the insurance business value chains. Key learnings from the Covid-19 crisis will be used to future-proof supervision and regulation of entities.”
She added: “On our part, as the Insurance and Pensions Commission, our regulatory framework provides for both compliance-driven supervision and risk-based supervision. The framework balances operational compliance by regulated entities and categorises the supervisory actions in relation to the risk profile of regulated entities. Entities of systemic importance are being closely monitored to ensure that the industry remains safe and sound.”