An investigation into the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies adopted by long term insurers in post dollarization Zimbabwe
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The local life assurance industry is a major player in the financial sector and has funds under its management which arguably rival any other single sector in the economy. Events in 2008-9 saw substantial loss of policy holder funds as a result of dollarization when the erstwhile currency of the day, the Zimbabwean dollar was dumped. That such huge losses occurred under the watch of sector players and the regulators raises questions about the sector’s preparedness to meet the myriad of risks that are part and parcel of today’s complex business environment. The study therefore aims to investigate the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies being used in the long term insurance sector following dollarization in January, 2009. Other objectives include finding out if there are any regulatory issues that need to be addressed to improve viability of the sector. To accomplish these objectives the study targeted the 10 life assurance companies that serve the market with a view to conduct in-depth interviews with at least two officials from each of the companies targeted. The study established that whereas there were risk management frameworks used in the sector these largely fell behind in terms of current best practice. Additionally it was found that there are issues to do with both regulation and self-regulation by industry practitioners themselves that need to be tackled to take the industry forward. Finally the study recommended that the industry move forward by embracing ERM frameworks in line with global trends in risk management. Regulators as well were called to complement self-regulation efforts through enacting various supporting legislation. The study then identified the need to conduct in –depth case studies at individual player level as an area of further study. Such studies should yield blueprints which should then be used to take the industry forward.
Additional Citation InformationBusu, N. (2015). An investigation into the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies adopted by long term insurers in post dollarization Zimbabwe (Unpublished Masters thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectLife assurance industry
Risk mitigation strategies