Insolvency: Samaritan Insurance Shut Down

The regulator has given the insured 40 days, as from May 12, 2017, to reinsure.

The Regional Commission for the Control of Insurances (CRCA) of CIMA (‘Conférence Interafricaine des Marchés d’Assurances’) has withdrawn a provisionary authorization granted to Samaritan Insurance, thereby stopping operations of the insurance company across the national territory. The regional body of the insurance industry for 14 countries in Francophone Africa took the decision during the CRCA’s 87th session in Lome, Togo. According to CRCA officials, the decision comes against the backdrop of Samaritan Insurance’s inability to fulfil its engagements towards its clients, with debts amounting to FCFA 3.7 billion. The taking away of the provisionary authorization granted Samaritan Insurance in April 2016, will lead to the liquidation of the company’s assets by competent authorities in a bid to compensate the insured. In the same light, insurance licenses granted by Samaritan Insurance will be valid only for 40 days as from May 12, 2017, after which the insured will be compelled to reinsure with compliant insurance companies.

When Cameroon Tribune visited the head office of Samaritan Insurance at Hotel de ville in Yaounde on Thursday May 18, 2017, security guards told reporters the premises had been closed and out of business since Monday May 15, 2017. An administrator of the establishment turned down a request to respond to few questions from Cameroon Tribune on grounds of being very busy with administrative work, but promised to be available one week after. However, a staff of Samaritan Insurance later told this reporter on grounds of anonymity that the CIMA decision did not come as a surprise. “The situation had become too complicated and we even thought the regulatory body was complacent,” the worker disclosed. The insurance company registered on January 10, 2005 by Awanga Zacharia is yet to make an official statement to its clientele.

The fate of over 100 workers of the insurance company remains uncertain as well as those of its clients, amongst them  Aéroports du Cameroun (ADC) which subscribed to an insurance policy amounting to 1.6 billion FCFA in 2014. Samaritan Insurance, alongside four other insurance companies in Cameroon: Compagnie Professionnelle d’Assurances (CPA), Assurances Générales du Cameroun (AGC), Beneficial General Insurance Cameroun, Société Africaine d’Assurance et de Réassurance vie Cameroun, was placed under observation when the “big, strong and reliable” company proved to be unreliable.

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