Why can we not be doing this in Ethiopia? How is it possible that COVID-19 has not inspired a heated debate on the state of health insurance in Ethiopia, especially given how medical treatment has become prohibitively expensive these days?
Just as in need of discussions is the loss of life and property we witnessed as a result of political violence in various parts of the country. This is another risk that has become deeply perceptible in Ethiopia and that business would want to be protected against. Indeed, with strategic risk hedging, the financial losses can be compensated through a political and terrorism risk insurance policy.
What should be the response for this and other emerging risks? Should we insure them or not? If yes, at what price? What is the public’s perception of this? Whose responsibility is it?
These have to be answered with a sense of urgency. Both the government and insurance firms must learn from health-related risks after COVID-19, investing further in life and health insurance, as well as orienting focus toward coverage of natural disasters and political violence.
Unfortunately, putting in place an insurance industry able to protect not just operating risks, but acts of God, is easier said than done. Still, it leaves governments, including Ethiopia, with no other choice but to attempt to do as such.
The problem has been brought to the forefront recently by the flooding that is occurring in several parts of the country. Having led to the displacement of one million people and loss of property, its economic impact can only be mitigated through tailor-made insurance policies. This can be done through partnerships between the industry and the government.
Given that global weather conditions are predicted to get worse, this is a conversation that needs to be had. In more developed countries, it would be part of the national discourse. Politicians would argue and develop policy strategies on how such disasters could be insured and losses are protected.