INSURANCE Association of Zambia president Shipango Muteto says most Zambians do not view insurance as a need and yet it is the most effective risk mitigation tool available.
And Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Felix Nkulukusa says government will support any initiatives that can help Zambians manage their risks better.
Meanwhile, Tapera Muzira, who is International Labour Organisation (ILO) acting country director, says the market for insurance products available and accessible to low-income people remains underdeveloped and inaccessible.
Speaking at the opening of an African regional micro-insurance business models conference at the Zambezi Sun Hotel, Muteto said there was need to create demand through continuous consumer awareness activities so as to increase uptake of insurance services among the Zambian population.
“An insurance service is not tangible and therefore the majority of people do not view it as a need, yet it is the most effective risk mitigation tool available,” Muteto said.
He said the low-income groups were the most vulnerable to vagaries of loss and yet they did not view insurance as essential or if they did, they thought it was for the affluent.
Muteto said micro-insurance was a relatively new concept in the Zambian insurance market and that there was a lot to learn from other countries that had successfully implemented this method of providing insurance to persons or low-income earning groups.
He added that there was need for the micro-insurance sector to invest in technological advancements in monitoring weather patterns, e-medical service provisions and research in agricultural technologies.
Muzira said ILO recognised the role of micro-insurance in driving social and economic change through the reduction of vulnerability among the low-income households and its promotion of stronger enterprises and facilitation of better public policies.
“Insurance for enterprises plays a critical role in boosting their productivity by enabling them to pursue higher risk and higher return opportunities. When such innovations are applied to micro, small-medium enterprises, it makes it an important tool for promoting formalisation of enterprises and preventing formalised enterprises from sliding (back) into informality,” Muzira said.
And Nkulukusa said insurance service providers faced a lot of challenges in convincing Zambians to take up certain insurance policies amidst the many competing needs for their income.
“Growing a micro-insurance market is certainly not easy and does require involvement of various stakeholders,” said Nkulukusa.
SOURCE: The Post Zambia
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