Insurance Employees Get the Boot

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By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK Fifteen positions at the Insurance Company of Namibia Limited (Inscon) have been made redundant following a lack of growth and adverse claims that dogged the company in 2006. The 15 affected positions are spread across all the three branches in Walvis Bay, Ongwediva and Tsumeb as well as the head office in Windhoek and also affects all positions from management to cleaners. General manager of Inscon, Rudi Jacobs, said yesterday the decision to make the positions redundant was taken as a cost-cutting measure to make the insurance company competitive and to turn its financial woes around. “We need to have a balance between the productivity and staff complement because if the two do not balance, then you have problems,” he said. Some of the older affected workers went on early retirement. “During this year (2006), Inscon has experienced lack of growth and adverse claims being almost double the claims for 2005,” Jabocs said. He could not however give any figures because he said the company’s financial report is still being compiled. Jacobs said the insurance industry as a whole went through tough times last year especially because of claims after the floods that destroyed homes, livestock, property and other infrastructure in Mariental early 2006. Due to the floods alone, the industry faced claims of around N$100 million, of which claims from Inscon amounted to N$10 million. He said apart from motor claims that made up the bulk of the Mariental claims, accidents that are happening on Namibian roads are the most adverse of all the claims. Apart from claims from the floods and vehicles, the insurance company also had many veld-fire claims in 2006. Jacobs expressed concern over what is happening on the country’s roads where lives are being lost and vehicles are being written off after accidents. “Something is happening on our roads. Whenever a vehicle overturns, it is a total loss,” he said, adding that “insurance companies have to pay in full”. He urged road users to be careful on the roads for Namibia to contain the accidents.