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Zambia loses over $1.5bn in premiums

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA’S insurance sector lost over US$1.5 billion in premiums between 2009 and 2015 due to loop-holes in trade, the Insurers Association of Zambia (IAZ) has disclosed.
IAZ president Paul Nkhoma said there are a lot of premium leakages in the country with significant amounts of insurance policies such as the payment of motor inspection (JEVIC) being placed outside Zambia, which is not good for economic growth.
“There is need to take steps to close loop-holes in the sector to enable the country to benefit from premiums which are being externalised,” Mr Nkhoma said in a statement last week.
As at December 31, 2016,the market premiums were estimated to reach K2.5billion, with general insurance premiums contributing K1.7 billion and life premiums contributing K864 million.
“For the first time in over a decade, the general insurance premiums have grown at a faster rate than the life insurance premiums, posting a growth of 23 percent last year compared to 14 percent in 2015, while the life insurance premiums growth was only at 12 percent,” he said.
Mr Nkhoma, however, said the contributions of insurance premiums to the country’s gross domestic product have continued to be dismal, contributing about 1.2 percent.
He also said the industry has been working on a number of initiatives to raise awareness on the importance of insurance service, whose increased consumption is a reflection of the standard of living.
“Consumer education initiatives are being rolled out, while the IAZ’s code of conduct is being strengthened to ensure that all the insurers provide a professional service and honour their commitments to clients in the shortest possible time,” Mr Nkhoma said.

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