Gambia’s Vice President Foutumatta Jallow-Tambajang has told insurance
companies from five West African countries to be active players in changing the
negative image and public perception that is plaguing the entire insurance
industries of the sub-region.
She said what insurance companies are selling is a promise to make some form of compensation when unfortunate incidences occur which makes it incumbent on them to strive to win public confidence if they are to meaningfully contribute to sub-regional economic growth.
“Public trust and confidence are crucial to your business if you are to improve the insurance penetration levels in the sub-region,” she said.
Addressing the 40th annual general meeting and education conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) at Kairaba Beach hotel in Kololi this week, VP Jallow-Tambajang appealed to the association’s technocrats to critically discuss the probable causes of public mistrust.
The association consists of insurance companies from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Building public trust in insurance was the theme of the gathering.
The vice president said public trust is fading away in insurance companies because some of their policies are sometimes drafted in technical language and in bulky documents which makes it time consuming for even the literate to study.
She assured the association that Gambia government will continue to support sub-regional insurance industry because their business of risk management has substantial impact on the general macro-economic conditions of countries.
The association’s president and managing director of Royal Insurance Company- The Gambia, Makaireh Badjan, called on members to be committed to the spirit of ensuring a uniform practice of the insurance in the sub-region.
“Our routine convergence for deliberations on most appropriate things over the years has evidently benefitted us all as members but more so the economics of our respective countries and beyond,” he said.
Mr. Badjan said WAICA remains the highly committable and exemplary sub-regional organisation not only by bringing insurance practitioners closer and contributing towards regional education, but also ensuring that the sub-region’s insurance play pivotal role in the socio-economic development of member countries’ economies.
Deputising the governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, Essa Drammeh, said trust and confidence are important for insurers because insurance is about selling promise and it is a common knowledge that people purchase insurance for a peace of mind knowing that there will be compensation when things go wrong.
Mr. Drammeh further outlined that one of the common challenges facing the insurance industry in their jurisdiction is low public confidence, adding that such arises mainly from the different interpretations of various insurance policy provisions and clauses by policy holders and insurance companies which in some instances result to disputes.