31 January 2013

Namibia: Namibre Lacks Skills to Branch Out

NAMIBIA National Reinsurance Corporation Ltd (NamibRe) has not been fully utilising its long-term reinsurance licence because of a lack of expertise.

The corporation acknowledged that it currently does not have the requisite skills - such as actuarial - to venture into long-term reinsurance.

NamibRe has been accused of not underwriting long-term insurance cover despite the fact that it has a licence and is losing out on business opportunities in this area.

Sector regulator Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) confirmed that the corporation received a long-term reinsurance licence in July 2001, for which NamibRe pays N$5 000 per year which is negotiated on the basis of anticipated volume of business.

NamibRe board chairperson Maria Dax this week said the corporation for now is primarily using its licence to underwrite credit life policies. Credit life is life cover taken out to cover the risk of a debtor dying before a loan is fully paid. It can only be underwritten with a long-term reinsurance licence.

"We are still in a good space to do it," Dax said. "It is the intention of NamibRe to pursue long-term [re-]insurance once it is ready with skills and systems. Its employees need to be trained in the business at hand before adding on other types of reinsurance."

Managing director Anna Nakale-Kawana said the parastatal has been preparing to set up a section fully equipped with skills and systems to do "proper underwriting".

"Technical partners both from brokers and reinsurers side have been contacted and we have just concluded a memorandum of understanding with three technical partners for the purpose," Nakale-Kawana said.

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