Rwanda: Businesses advised to use insurance professionals

Businesses and individuals have been advised to use professionals whenever they want to engage service providers, especially when one is filing for compensation.

A burnt out building. It is advisable to use insurance brokers if you want to be compensated fast, experts say. They argue that brokers understand better how to handle the process.

Alphonse Mukama, the managing director of Afrika Risk, a local insurance brokerage firm, said most claimants do not know how to make a claim in case an insured item or property is destroyed.

He explained that some claimants are far from the insurer’s branch or are too busy to follow up their cases.

“People lodge claims but give up because they are too occupied with other things. Others lack the money to facilitate them in the process, especially if they have to travel regularly to the insurance company headquarters,” he said.

An insurance broker is an autonomous advisor who collaborates with several insurance companies on behalf of clients to ensure the two parties manage their interests while saving time.

Mukama said if, say, a client from Nyamasheke district hired an insurance broker, they could give all the necessary documents to the broker to handle the claim until they are paid.

Mark Rugenera, director general of SORAS insurance company, said apart from handling clients’ claims, insurance brokers help customers to understand the different insurance products, and also advise insurers on clients’ needs.

“It is easy to deal with an insurance broker because they know how to articulate claims compared to clients. Since we are dealing with a professional, it does not take long to understand and pay the claim,” said Rugenera argued.

Ordinarily, the concerned insurance company pays the broker but not the client as many people think.

“Even if insurance companies pay for the services offered by brokers, this outweighs the losses in terms wasted time and other things when we deal directly with clients, especially when paying compensation for accidents and fires,” said Joseph Bahenda, the CORAR insurance company boss.

By Théogène Ishimwe & Ben Gasore, The New Times

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