Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S insurance companies should spread their services beyond urban areas to cover rural agricultural communities and upcoming businesses who are also contributing to the growth of the economy, an official has said.
Speaking during the Zimbabwe international Trade Fair (ZITF) International Business Conference last week, Tristar Insurance Company managing director, Mr David Nyabadza, said business risks were affecting how the country is moving forward in developing its economy.
“As a country we should think about risks going forward. The insurance companies in Zimbabwe have embraced insurance models that target the rural folk who include the farmers.
“We have seen that their contribution has the power to project growth upwards,” said Mr Nyabadza.
He said the agricultural sector had more sophisticated risks that needed to be covered by the insurance sector for the industry to be sustainable.
“With climate change the insurance sector needs to be engaged so that farmers are covered from natural disasters that are unpredictable. In other countries a slight change in weather patterns can trigger an insurance policy to start paying the farmer so that the farmer does not lose his investments,” said Mr Nyabadza.
He also implored the Government to engage the insurance industry to mitigate risks in its funding programmes for purposive of sustainability.
“Government also has to engage us so that when they disburse some of their funds we can help in assessing the risk. Engaging insurance companies is important in that we are driven by profit and as such we know how to mitigate risks,” Mr Nyabadza said.
He stressed the need for businesses and budding entrepreneurs to cover risks if they intend to attract investment and create a sustainable industrialisation model.
“For Zimbabwe to sustain industry there is need for the country to avoid a start stop mentality that is unsustainable. We need long term plans,” said Mr Nyabadza.
“Our industry in Zimbabwe is developed and is able to take care of those needs. We are a well regulated financial industry and we are ready to play our part.”
However, some participants at the conference expressed concern that insurance companies had a disclaimer that they do not cover country risk, saying that was one of the reasons that the country was not getting Foreign Direct Investments.