The new president of the Association of Insurance Companies of Cameroon (ASAC), Mr Thiery Kepeden, who is also managing director of Axa Cameroon, says that his mandate includes increasing the turnover of the insurance market in Cameroon.
Giving an indicator of the insurance gap in the country, he points out that Cote d'Ivoire, with population size and purchasing power comparable to those of Cameroon, generated an insurance turnover of XOF415bn ($768m) in 2020 whereas the figure was XAF210bn ($389m) in Cameroon, representing 1% of its GDP.
Calling for quick action, he says that one lever which can be used to increase premium income in Cameroon is compulsory insurance, reported Eco Matin.
Mr Kepeden who assumed the position of ASAC president on 4 June, said, “We know that third party liability auto insurance is mandatory, yet 50% of cars in circulation are uninsured.” He says that remediation actions need to be taken, in particular against forged insurance certificates.
Enforcement of existing law
As a second lever, Mr Kepeden plans to press the government to enforce a 1975 law and its 1977 implementing decree. These oblige those engaged in any construction project with a value of at least XAF100m to take out all-risk construction insurance. The same law obliges architects, design offices and technical inspection companies to take out 10-year inherent defect insurance. However, to date, these are still not abided by.
Mr Kepeden, who will be ASAC president for two years, said, "We have drawn the attention of the government, so that this obligation is inserted in the bundle of documents for the issuance of a building permit."
He also hopes that the government would make effective a 2018 law providing for compulsory insurance for containers leaving ports. The provisions of this law are still not implemented by the concerned parties.
Mr Kepeden adds that insurers must also work to introduce new lines of compulsory insurance, such as compulsory fire insurance for all buildings open to the public (e.g. stadiums, markets and theatres, etc).
The insurance industry in Cameroon has 28 companies operating in it, comprising 17 non-life companies and 11 life companies. ASAC was created in 1973.