The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Christopher Mapani has expressed concern over the increasing number of complaints in the insurance industry.
Speaking at a Kenya Re Networking Cocktail last evening, Mr Mapani noted that there had been an increase in the number of complaints by insurance policyholders relating to delays in settlement of claims.
“I am calling on the insurance industry to introspect over the complaints relating to delays in payment of claims. The complaints on delays in payment of claims are increasing and this is a source of worry for us as regulator,” said Mr Mapani.
“We are concerned with the low insurance uptake which has mainly been attributed to low insurance awareness, misconception that insurance is just for motor vehicle and the delays in payment of claims. We need to address all these issues and unlock the potential in the insurance industry.”
Mr Mapani stated that the Authority’s vision is to have an insurance industry that contributes significantly to the Countries GDP, creates jobs and enhances risk management.
“Going forward, we also expect all insurance companies to be financially sound with capacity to pay claims promptly and underwrite mega risks,” said Mr Mapani.
He further stated that the Authority was repositioning itself in the industry for enhanced service delivery in the financial sector.
“The Authority has been restructured to address some of the challenges that we have noted in the industry. The restructuring will now help us focus on the key areas, which include prudential supervision, market conduct and market development. We will also endeavour to use our quasi-judicial powers judiciously in order to protect the interests of insurance policyholders,” said Mr Mapani.
He also disclosed that that the Authority would soon operationalise the regulatory software, which it had acquired in 2017.
“We have invested in ICT infrastructure in order to enhance service delivery. This system will help to strengthen and enhance the regulatory capacity of the Authority as all regulated entities will now report through one system, resulting in significant improvements in the quality, consistency, reliability, and integrity of information submitted to, and subsequently published by the Authority,” said Mr Mapani.
He further noted that the insurance industry is critical in not only helping individuals and businesses to cope with risks but also as an important financial intermediary, which facilitates mobilisation of capital that can be used for development.
Mr Mapani also disclosed that the Authority was working with the Ministry of Finance to strengthen reinsurance in Zambia.
“We are working with the Ministry of Finance on building capacity of reinsurers in Zambia through legislative changes which have been proposed in the Insurance Bill. The changes among other things will help to stem the externalisation of premiums which deprive the country of the much needed resources through taxes, opportunities and job creation,” said Mr Mapani.
Issued by: Doreen Kambanganji-Silungwe
About the Pensions and Insurance Authority
The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) is the regulatory and supervisory body for the pensions and insurance industry in Zambia. The Authority falls under the Ministry of Finance and derives its mandate from the Pension Scheme Regulation Act No 28 of 1996 (as amended by Act No. 27 of 2005) and the Insurance Act No. 27 of 1997 (as amended by Act No. 26 of 2005). The functions of the Authority vests in the Board, appointed by the Minister of Finance in accordance with the provisions of the law. The Board comprises of nine (9) members nominated from various institutions identified in accordance with the law.