Building the future of insurance and risk management today- The roles of the student, his association and his varsity!
BY Valentine Provide Makota
With the current state of the insurance and risk management fraternity, indeed there is need for positioning this crucial engine of the economy to a better future. But building the future of insurance and risk management calls for a collective responsibility. The student, the university, the professionals, the regulator and the companies all have roles to play if we are to have a vibrant insurance and risk management sector. However, it should be noted that, previous efforts have been biased towards insurance and it won’t be surprising not to have any guest from the risk management side,neither should one be disappointed if they do not come across any discussions on risk management at the ongoing Insurance and Risk Management national exchange. This is despite the fact that there is more to risk management, Enterprise Risk Management(ERM) to be modern, than to insurance. In fact, insurance is just but a small part of risk management.
Insurance vs Risk Management- in brief
This student acknowledges that although usually not separated, insurance and risk management cannot be substitutes. It is however worrying that in many cases, risk management has been substituted with insurance and/or Safety Health and Environment (SHE) systems. Take it for a fact; the only alternative to risk management is critical management (not insurance) of which critical management is time consuming, embarrassing and more costly (James Lam). It should be imperative then for entities to adopt risk management although they may have insurance in place. Over and above having insurance, entities- including universities- require ERM to enable them to manage insurance exclusions and all other types of risks which are not readily insurable. As for insurance companies and banks, as the major risk carriers, they should be on the lead in implementing ERM.
The Student- the Professional Route
Many of us are likely to pursue a Masters Degree in Insurance and Risk Management or any area of one’s choice for our post-graduate studies, congratulations in advance! However, this student feels that if one want to make it in their chosen area, whether insurance or risk management, one have to pursue professional courses offered by various professional institutes and bodies, for instance; the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), The Professional Risk Managers’ International Association, The Public Risk Management Association in the case of risk management. Plans are at any advanced stage of having a Zimbabwean Institute of Risk Management, obviously affiliating to the IRM, great!. Professional students and graduates affiliate to professional bodies and they participate in researches (in journals) and at conferences.
The Student Association
Congratulations to the current leadership at MSU’s RMA for hosting a should-be great conference!
However, this student is of the thought process that student associations should strive to motivate their members to pursue professional courses. An association must actually affiliate, for and on behalf of its members, to professional bodies to make it easy for its members to pursue these professional courses.An association should also extend its objects to include not only availing platforms such as student annual conferences, journals and magazines for publishing student research works but to also commend students’ research efforts through awards( presented at annual dinners), scholarships( to attend international conferences) and positive comment.
Generally on the academic end, the three universities currently offering a degree in insurance and risk management in Zimbabwe should review their courses synopsis to truly speak to the name of the degree, or at least to have a balance in both risk management and insurance modules, otherwise this student see the advent of a stand-alone degree in risk management in the future (Yes, if the IRM can offer a post-grad diploma in ERM, why not a degree in the future). The curriculum and contents of modules also ought to be in sync with industry trends and demands especially on the ERM ( operational risk management including SHE, financial risk management, project risk management, strategic risk management etc) front.
Therefore, in our quest to build the future of insurance and risk management today, we must recognise that little have been done on the risk management front over the years. Having appreciated this existing deficiency in efforts to advance the risk management profession, it seems then that greater career opportunities lie ahead for a few of us who are passionate about this risk management thing and shall seek to be innovative and professional in pursuit of ERM as a career.
Come,let’s go risk!
Valentine Provide Makota is the first student from MSU’s department of Insurance and Risk Management to be attached with Mimosa Mining’s ERM department.
Valentine has strong professional interests in Enterprise Risk Management and the captive insurance concept.
Students with the same interests can follow and/or request him on facebook, linkedin (Valentine Provide Makota) and twitter (@makotavalent1)