EDITORIAL: Insurance should be designed for all sections of society

Traditionally, insurance in Rwanda was more of a reserve for motor vehicle owners or those in the import/export business.

Traditionally, insurance in Rwanda was more of a reserve for motor vehicle owners or those in the import/export business.

Motor insurance was a legal traffic requirement (it still is today) and drivers had nowhere to hide during a traffic stop, so it became a necessary companion.

But as more and more players entered the field, new products  such as health, travel, life, education and property insurance, to add but a few were introduced.

But the culture has not sunk in yet, and as officials claim, insurers are not innovative enough in popularising their products.

But that could just be a tip of the iceberg. Settling claims has been the biggest obstacle in attracting new clients. The bureaucracy involved as well as the widely held belief that insurers were reluctant to honour their part of the bargain also played into account.

However, mindset and distrust are also to blame. A property owner does not expect his house to collapse or go up in flames, it seems very far-fetched and many prefer to defy the risk.

Some abhor the idea of giving out their money for years without any incident as a waste of money, but tragedy needs to strike just once to open their eyes.

By now, the recent high profile fire outbreaks should have seen property owners flocking the insurers in drones, but that seems not to be the case.

So, what is the missing link? Will lower premiums do the trick? Are insurers doing enough to communicate the benefits of mitigating risks?

Those are questions that need answers, but even then, as long as the firms target middle/upper sections of society leaving the common man out of the equation, they will always leave behind unplugged loopholes.

 

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