A number of leaders in the insurance industry have revealed the risks of a lack of trained cadres and those with vital expertise necessary for the growth of the market.
The risks include the difficulty in reaching corporate goals without a thorough study by those who are technically qualified, reported Al Mal.
The increased number of insurance companies in the sector has raised demand for insurance cadres.
The industry executives say that insurance companies allocate meagre budgets for training and fail to offer benefits, including progressive insurance coverage, to promote staff retention.
Dr Ayman El-Alfy, managing director of Misr Emirates Takaful Life Insurance, said that the local insurance companies have been facing for a long time a crisis of the lack of technical personnel they need in different departments. The shortage becomes aggravated when the market begins to expand.
He emphasised that the fundamental solution to such a big problem is to train second and third-tier cadres, especially in important jobs such as underwriting, compensation and reinsurance.
He urged insurance companies to increase the budget they allocate for training because learning and development is a necessity and is no longer a luxury. He said that there is also a need to form working groups from the various departments of the company and train them inside and outside the country. He said that that the trainees have to study the dimensions of each decision and some of them have to be authorised gradually to make decisions, after the insurance company has made sure of the technical competence of each of them.
He stressed the need to provide incentives to address the lack of trained technical personnel and to groom talent. Insurers also need to inculcate a sense of belonging among their employees so as to retain staff. This could include giving them benefits that increase with the number of years of employment with the company.
Mr Walid Fares, Tokio Marine Egypt General Takaful's chief underwriting officer, said that there are several factors that have contributed to the lack of technical cadres in the insurance sector, the most important of which is the failure of the sector to play an adequate role in educating the community of its importance and the feasibility of graduates working in the sector.
He said that the shortage of talent is felt especially in remote geographical areas such as Upper Egypt, unlike Cairo and Alexandria where the shortage is less acute.
He said that there are a number of medium and long-term solutions to deal with the shortage of insurance cadres. These include decentralising decisions so that not all technical expertise is concentrated in one place, and granting decision making powers to second and third-tier cadres and monitoring them to assess their technical and leadership capabilities.
He also called on the insurance companies to develop alternative plans to address the lack of cadres and technical competencies, including hiring ahead of needs especially in important departments where if a position suddenly becomes vacant would cause a big problem, such as underwriting, reinsurance and compensation.