Insurance operators operating within and outside Africa have adopted 17 paragraphs resolutions in order to enhance the growth of the sector.
Practitioners at the end of the 37th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) held in Banjul, Gambia last week unanimously agreed thatÂ the survival, growth and development of the insurance industry in the African continent would richly be enhanced by wiping off every act of unethical practices.
According to the operators, â€œIf we effectively deal with unethical practices such as rate undercutting, premium purchase, undermining of each other etc that have plagued the industry over the years and have contributed to low capacity, low profitability, poor claims settlement and generally low image for the industry in Africa, it will boost the growth of the industryâ€.
They said that insurance industry should as a matter of importance adhere toÂ codes of conduct as a tool for the regulation of the industry and to also sanctions any practitioners that goes against the codes appropriately.
Operators consented that the insurance industry should consider other stakeholders such as the judiciary, governments, customers and the general public in the enforcement of the code of ethics while they should work together so as to ensure adherence to ethical and professional standards.
They further agreed that insurance operators should start to design microinsurance products and begin to channel its distribution to all nooks and crannies of the continent, adding that it would also boost the sectorâ€™s delivery of corporate social responsibility to the poor and vulnerable segments of the societies which thus go a long way in enhancing individual corporate and industry image.
Insurance companies, they advised should take urgent steps to put in place human resource management policies that will ensure the recruitment of the right caliber of personnel and their continuous training and professional development supported by attractive remuneration and other incentive packages that will ensure retention and high level performance and loyalty.
According to practitioners, â€œOur human resource development efforts should not be limited to lower and middle level personnel only but must also be extended to senior management and Board members whose corporate governance responsibilities are crucial to the sustainable development and profitability of companiesâ€.
â€œThat system must be put in place for periodic assessment of performance of staff and Board of Directors preferably by independent external performance auditorsâ€.
Operators said insurance companies should pay attention to information technology and ensure that their ITs are up to date.
That the survival of the insurance industry in Africa especially after the disastrous effects of the financial crisis hinges on the rebuilding of trust and confidence among consumers and no effort should be spared to achieve this.
â€œThat aside from the various things that we have to do to improve our internal operational efficiency and effectiveness, we must do all it takes to attract and manage consumer trust and confidence by acting in responsible ways regarding what consumers and our other key stakeholders consider fundamental and important to our businessâ€.
â€œThat our various national associations must take the lead in developing and implementing policies and programmes that will continuously enhance our professionalism, ensuring that we compete on professionalism innovation of products and customer serviceâ€.