NGE calls on insurance companies to provide cover for Journalists

By Favour Nnabugwu


The President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Mustapha Isah, has called on insurance companies to cover for journalists in the country.

Isah made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday to underwriting firms to provide insurance cover for journalists so as to encourage them carry out thier duties effectively.

He said such insurance policy would encourage journalists to go the extra mile in getting authentic stories and disseminating credible information.

He said that insurance cover for journalists in the country was a necessity and would boost their morale, enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the media industry.

According to him, “Journalists in Nigeria are practising under a difficult and sometimes dangerous environment, thereby putting their lives on the line”

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“During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, media houses didn’t shut down. Journalists were still going out to do their work, even without any form of insurance cover.
Some of us were infected in the process. Also, some journalists lost their lives in Kano and Abuja during the Shi’a protest.

“As we speak now, a reporter from Vanguard newspaper is missing and has not been found. Journalists should have insurance cover.

“CNN would not take you without having an insurance cover for you. That is why their journalists would be bold to report even from the war front,” the NGE President said.

Isah narrated how a Director of Press in a military formation in Maiduguri once told him to come to Borno to cover the war against insurgency instead of calling via the phone everytime there was an attack.

“I told him I didn’t have an insurance cover to cover the war against Boko Haram insurgency in Borno.

“I asked him if I died in the process what would happen to my family.

“So, there is the urgent need for media house owners and outfits to get insurance cover for their journalists,” he said. (NAN)

Kenya:Digitisation,microinsurance open up opportunities for insurers

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Companies offering InsurTech services such as mobile claims and policy payment services and microinsurance companies offering low-cost products such as funeral and livestock insurance are most likely to succeed in the Kenyan market, says the global professional services firm KPMG.

In a report, KPMG notes that until recently, most insurers have heavily relied on face-to-face distribution and have legacy systems that do not accommodate the changing needs of consumers.

In a world where consumers are clued up on technology and prefer to have their world revolve around their smartphones, there is an opportunity for insurers to digitise customer engagement through software applications. Increasingly, Kenyan insurers are following suit and offering self-service options through smartphone technology and only facilitating interaction with an agent when the client needs advice.

Opportunities for insurers also lie in prioritising the development of microinsurance products such as livestock and crop insurance. These would appeal to a large portion of the population in Kenya as much of the population works in the agriculture sector. Heavy rains in Kenya regularly cause floods destroying crops, farmland and property and food insecurity is exacerbated by locust invasions which devastate the agricultural industry and continue the cycle of poverty.

However, with most insurers updating their policies to exclude catastrophic events and the impact of COVID-19 and business interruption, local consumers’ distrust of insurers continues to increase.

Furthermore, the KPMG report reads, “Like many countries in Africa, Kenya is faced with high volumes of fraud and corruption and the insurance industry is not any different. It is estimated that 25% of claims costs of insurers in Kenya are a result of fraudulent claims.”

In addition, in recent years, Kenya has seen an increase in cyber attack cases with 29% of corporate users experiencing malware attacks in just the first half of 2021. This calls for more effort and investment to be put into cyber security

Nevertheless, KPMG says that improving Kenya’s socio-economic status will aid in raising the insurance penetration levels which have remained for a long time below global averages which indicates a large, uninsured customer base,

At 3%, Kenya has the third-lowest insurance penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa leading at 17%. This is due to most of Kenya’s population perceiving insurance as a “nice-to-have/easy to discard” product rather than one that is essential.

There are 58 insurers and reinsurers in Kenya and the market is dominated by CIC, Jubilee, Britam, ICEA, Lion General and APA Insurance. General insurance dominates the industry, accounting for 60% of industry gross written premiums.

Despite the low insurance penetration rate, the Kenyan government has been proactive when it comes to educating the population about the benefits of insurance products. The Insurance Regulatory Authority, Kenya’s insurance regulator, conducts a number of consumer education programmes around the country on an annual basis.

Burkina Faso:Authorities rein in commission malpractices in life insurance sector

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Burkina Faso, one of the 14 member countries of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA), has decided to cap the commissions paid by life insurers to banks at 5% instead of 15%.

This decision also prohibits paying commissions to bank account managers or staff.

As a reminder, Burkina Faso adopted a decree in April 2002 setting floor rates and ceilings for commissions according to the different branches of insurance, reported Financial Afrik.

In a statement, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance said that for the life branch in general, and particularly for borrowers’ death insurance, the commission rates applied are often much higher than the relevant ceiling rates.

“From our surveys of banks, it appears that in addition to commissions paid to banks for intermediation, other types of commissions would be paid to advisors. This double remuneration makes the commission rates paid higher than the regulatory rates ”.

These practices, says a ministerial note addressed to the directors of insurance companies, are “contrary to regulatory requirements and could be of a nature to discredit and induce harmful effects on this segment of the market in particular and in general on the entire life insurance sector in our country.”

In any case, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance says that surprise inspections will be carried out to ensure that regulations are complied with, in particular, with regard to provisions relating to commission rates for the life branch. Any offenders will reimburse unduly paid commissions and will be penalised in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Code.

South Africa:Retirement income system falls in rankings in 2021

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South Africa’s retirement income system has been ranked the 31st best among the 43 systems worldwide covered this year by the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index. This represents a fall of four places from 27th position in 2020 out of 39 systems ranked that year.

The decline was despite South Africa’s overall index value increasing to 53.6 this year from 53.2 in 2020, as is indicated by the 2021 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index report.

This was because four retirement systems were added to the rankings this year, of which three of them surpassed that of South Africa’s. The three are Iceland (ranked 1st), Uruguay (20th) and UAE (22nd). At the same time, China jumped up in the rankings from 33rd place in 2020 to 28th in 2021.

The Global Pension Index uses the weighted average of the sub-indices of adequacy, sustainability and integrity to measure each retirement system against more than 50 indicators.

It benchmarks retirement income systems around the world highlighting some shortcomings in each system and suggests possible areas of reform that would provide more adequate and sustainable retirement benefits.

The table below summarises the rankings of South Africa’s retirement income system:
The Global Pension Index report notes that South Africa’s retirement income system comprises a means-tested public pension and tax-supported voluntary occupational schemes.

Allianz raises European flood loss estimate to €1.1bn

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Global insurance and reinsurance group Allianz has lifted its estimate for gross losses from storm Bernd’s impacts in Europe and the severe flooding that struck the region by 22 percent to €1.1 billion.
Allianz had said that it expected its excess-of-loss reinsurance tower would be triggered by the flooding claims and that more than half of the gross loss burden would be recovered, with its net loss set to be reduced to around €400 million.

It’s likely that even though the gross loss has risen by 22 percent the net impact to Allianz could stay roughly the same, meaning that the companies reinsurance recovery could now be as much as €700 million, although we cannot be certain of this as Allianz has not disclosed a fresh net loss figure.

The €1.1 billion includes losses suffered by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).

Allianz expects that around €700 million of the flood losses will be from Germany, the country worst impacted by the rainfall and flooding from Bernd.

AGCS expects more than €100 million of claims from clients in Germany and the Benelux, the company said.

Allianz noted that it paid out €917 million for claims from the Elbe flooding in 2002, which including price increases could be as much as €1.76 billion today.

“Depending on which value you use for the 2002 flood, the value then or the current value, Ilse or Bernd is the biggest event so far in the entire history of Allianz,” explained Thorsten Fromhold, Head of Portfolio Management & Retrocession at Allianz Re.

Flood events like the one seen in Europe in July are expected to occur more frequently because of climate change, Allianz said.

Katherine Wenigmann, natural catastrophe (NatCat) risk expert at Allianz Re, commented, “We know that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor and that heavy precipitation events will occur more frequently. According to the latest research, climate change can cause some low-pressure systems to stall and stay over a region, resulting in large amounts of precipitation over a relatively short period of time.”

With large reinsurance recoveries set to be made by the biggest insurers in the region, European reinsurance renewal rates are expected to come under pressure to rise at 1/1 2022.