The Kenyan Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Sammy Makove, for the insurance market to grow in line with the economic programmes of individual countries, an enabling regulatory and supervisory environment has to be in place.
He made this assertion while addressing participants at the Reinsurance Management workshop organised by Continental Reinsurance Plc (Continental-Re), in Lagos recently.
According to him, an enabling environment precedes sound policies which in turn encourage innovation and growth in a sector. "A conducive regulatory and supervisory environment is necessary because sound policies and regulations encourage innovation, investment, sustainability and growth in the insurance industry while protecting consumers and the soundness of regulated institutions," Makove said.
He noted that facilitative regulatory framework and better appreciation of the dynamics of the insurance market help to eliminate perceived obstacles that discourage insurers from innovating customised insurance products and flexible distribution channels.
The Kenyan insurance commissioner encouraged insurance regulators the West African sub-region to work closely with operators in the markets to ensure a better development of the insurance industry.
According to him, the insurance regulators' role in promoting the development of the insurance industry may be achieved through closely cooperating and partnering the market players on initiatives to develop the insurance industry.
According to him, partnering with operators, regulators could achieve their respective goals of developing the insurance industry and encourage development of customised and affordable insurance products, as well as encouraging innovation to realise efficient and flexible distribution and claim settlement channels.
Makove added that insurers should also ensure corporate social investment to demonstrate the benefits of insurance in the community and create interest in insurance studies by engaging learning institutions regarding their curriculum.
He also advised insurance regulators in the sub-region to participate actively in the public education and awareness programmes, dwelling particularly on the benefits of insurance.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Continental-Re, Dr. Femi Oyetunji, explained that the programme was organised to show appreciation for the support of stakeholders to the firm and assured that the company would continue to organise the annual reinsurance seminar for its West African clients. "We will bring experts from across the globe to come and impact knowledge," he said.
Oyetunji also noted that his organisation was the largest wholly private reinsurance company in Africa outside South Africa, adding that the company had a balance sheet size worth $130 million and shareholders fund in excess of $80 million. "In Nigeria, Continental-Re is a good corporate citizen. We contribute positively to Nigeria's gross domestic product," he added.
Continental-Re started operations in Lagos in 1985, a branch office in 2003 in Douala, opened in Nairobi in 2009, Abidjan in March 2012, converted Nairobi into a subsidiary company in July 2012, with plans to open Tunis office soon. In August 2011, A M Best upgraded Continental-Re's security rating to B+ making it one of the most secure reinsurance companies in Africa.