Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) deputy registrar Titus Nkwale says the performance of general insurance premiums grew by nine per cent in 2017 as it escalated to K1.82 billion compared to around K1.64 billion in 2016.

Speaking when he gave a presentation during a media training workshop in Lusaka, Tuesday, Nkwale also said the long-term life insurance segment experienced growth in 2017 as it recorded around K942 million in premiums.

“So, in industries, the key statistic that has been growing, double digits just as a principle and you know, for instance, that general inflation rate has been around eight to nine per cent, then you are assured that the growth is not just inflationary driven, but that there is real growth that is happening. That is why we are saying that, as the Authority, we are glad about the fact that growth in the insurance sector has been around 14 to 16 per cent in the gross written premiums,” Nkwale said.

“[The] 2018 forecast [indicated that] general insurance may have grown by nine per cent over 2017 numbers; long-term (life) may have grown by 20 per cent over 2017 numbers; occupational pensions scheme assets may have grown by five per cent over 2017 numbers. By mid-April 2019, the Authority will have audited numbers.”

Nkwale also highlighted some of the issues that would be addressed by the enactment of the Insurance Bill, which is expected to soon be enacted by Parliament.

“Subject to the enactment of the Insurance Bill, new solvency (capital adequacy) regulations (SI) will be issued : these rules will seek to address the following: enhance resilience of insurers to financial risks (assets and liabilities carry associated with the market (price); interest rate; credit; liquidity and valuations); strengthen insurers’ management of the underwriting (price and measurement of contracts), type and volume of insurance, and quality of re-insurance e.g. credit rating of re-insurer,” Nkwale said.

And Nkwale cautioned that regulation of insurance needed other interventions such as adequate capacity, demand stimulation, government support as an assurance to the development of the industry.

He noted that the occupational pension’s scheme assets’ five per cent growth last year over 2017 was mainly attributed to the media.

Zambia has a total of 20 regulated general insurers; 10 long-term life insurers; 32 regulated insurance brokers; 228 tied insurance agents; eight motor assessors; seven claims agents; three re-insurers, and another three loss adjusters, according to Nkwale.

There are also 146 occupational pension schemes, eight fund managers, and seven fund administrators, while naming NAPSA, PSPF, and LASF as the existing statutory pension schemes.