African insurance companies should pull resources together  

By Rosemary Onuoha

At the sidelines of the just concluded African Insurance Organisation, AIO, conference in Ghana, Executive Director of Law Union & Rock, Mr. Supo Sogelola, said  that the African insurance market must be united to retain large risks.

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WHY is the African insurance market fragmented? There are too many operators working in Africa. Rather than coming together, in building organisations that have strong capitals that are large and able to take risks and pass it on to reinsurers, insurance companies want to operate on stand-alone basis. Insurance should not be a business where people do it just because they want to make money. The owners of the business no doubt, would declare profit, however, the business is not primarily for making profit.

Photo by Andrew Stutesman

It is for making the people comfortable and providing assurances of replacement when there are losses or when risks happen. Countries grow by having sustainable good insurance companies. Once this is sustained, unethical practices will not come in because people are not working for themselves. We should do the right thing so that going forward insurance will have the respect it deserves. What can insurance operators in Africa do going forward? In Africa we need to look at how we can start to pull our resources together. The insurance world is fragmented, brokers’ world is fragmented. Everything is just in bits and pieces.

Photo by Andrew Neel

There could be one organization that has over 100,000 employees over Africa. In such instance, there will be standards of salaries, there will be uniformity and all unethical practices will not come in. The African Insurance Organisation, AIO, is there to support us, if the regulators in the continent come together and agree on a way forward, we will get there.

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