An investigation into survival strategies in a highly competitive short-term insurance industry in Zimbabwe (2009 - 2012)
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The Zimbabwean short term insurance sector had its good times, but with the passage of time competitors were attracted by the fortunes that appeared limitless. As a result pricing of insurance products was lowered, poorly designed products flocked the market, premium growth drastically declined, players struggled to pay claims and many players lost their market share among a cocktail of threats and challenges. The sector experienced decreasing profitability though in some instances the gross written premiums figures were increasing. The study investigates the survival strategies that were implemented by insurance companies from 2009-2012. Evidence from the literature that was reviewed indicated that there are various strategies that companies can implement in order to survive these include strategic alliances, turnaround and retrenchment strategies, re-engineering and competitive strategies. The survey research design was used in the research. The population of the study included all short-term insurance companies in Harare and fifty questionnaires were sent to short-term insurance companies. The respondents who were targeted were mainly senior managers and chief underwriters who are aware of operational and strategic issues affecting companies. Random sampling was used by the researcher to ensure that each element of the population had an equal chance of being selected. Survey findings revealed that the following strategies were implemented, reinventing the business function, price undercutting, incentives to agents, aggressive marketing and promotion of products, selling of additional products and services, disposal of non-performing assets, alliances with business partners, prioritizing core business, changing of distribution channels, use of reinsurance contracts and reduction of costs. Companies that failed to implement these survival strategies lost their operating licenses and market share. Therefore, the research concludes that the strategies were effective and it is recommended that short –term insurance companies apply these survival strategies.
Additional Citation InformationNemaura, S. (2013). An investigation into survival strategies in a highly competitive short-term insurance industry in Zimbabwe (2009 - 2012) (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectShort term insurance