Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gambia’s insurance industry campaign to eradicate ‘poor public image’

The insurance industry, which is globally tainted by unethical practices, has a negative image in The Gambia/Photo/Lamin Jahateh/2011
A weeklong campaign to eradicate the poor public image of the insurance industry in The Gambia set in motion on Monday by the country’s insurance umbrella body, the IAG, ended on Friday.

The Insurance Association of The Gambia (IAG) said the February 11 to 16, 2013 awareness campaign seeks to further increase the understanding of the general public of insurance and insurance policies.

The campaign, which started with a sponsored walk along Kairaba Avenue, Kanifing Municipality, was intended to lay the foundation for building a trusting relationship between insurance providers and the public.

Insurance responsive

Held under the theme “Contribution of insurance stakeholders towards eradicating the poor public image of the industry”, the Insurance Awareness Week (IAW) is part of IAG’s information, education and clarification programme.

The Insurance Awareness Week is an inspirational industry campaign which unites those who share an interest in elevating public awareness about the progress and benefits of The Gambia insurance industry, the IAG said.

Like the previous two editions of the campaign, this year, the IAG said it basically seeks to pave way for a more insurance responsive public.

GCCI president Jagana says IAG must tackle negative perceptions
This will provide a better understanding of insurance to the public and improve the public perception of the industry, and as well enhance public interest in insurance.

During a lecture held on Tuesday at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul, on the theme, Mr Muhammed Jagana said “the poor public image of the insurance industry is due to the fact that people do not have much knowledge about insurance.”

“Even some of the people who are purportedly knowledgeable on the subject, by being insured, do not read to know the terms and conditions of their policy hence do not know what is covered and what is not,” the President of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) argues.

Negative image

The insurance industry, which is globally tainted by unethical practices, has a negative image in The Gambia, but its umbrella body, the IAG, said it is committed to eradicating this “poor public image of people about the industry”.

“Majority of policyholders in The Gambia think that insurance companies are good at collecting premiums and once you get into trouble they bring you a lot of issues in order to avoid paying claims,” Mr Jagana said.

He added: “Majority of policyholders believe that just because they have an insurance cover, especially motor insurance, they should be paid once they are involved in an accident.”

Mr Jagana urges the IAG to tackle the poor image of the industry by ensuring policyholders become more aware of their rights under the insurance policy.  

He also suggested that the insurance industry can improve or even eradicate the poor public image of the industry through publicity and advertisement.

On Wednesday, there was another sponsored walk, this time in Banjul.

The annual general meeting of the IAG was also held on Thursday at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul, while on Friday the first annual general meeting of the IAG’s credit union was observed.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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