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The Guardian: Woman’s Hour power list: the real game-changer would be to ditch the concept altogether
The Guardian: Woman’s Hour power list: the real game-changer would be to ditch the concept altogether. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIw-IW1qRo
Over the past few years, large corporations operating in Africa, have come up with innovative ways of redesigning financial products to cater for an increasing number of individuals unable to obtain services in more traditional ways. One of the most popular financial products has been Microinsurance, a product of the microfinance industry, which has for some time been aggressively marketed as essential – particularly for people in the informal sector – to provide a form of security, enabling people to manage their risks and prevent them from falling into poverty in the event of a crisis.
With the continued rise of mobile phone users in Africa, insurers have a huge opportunity to grow their revenue as they tap into this large consumer base – targeting the population in the middle of the economic pyramid – that does not live on less than $2 a day but cannot afford access to traditional insurance products.
Microinsurance has no doubt been beneficial to some SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises) and may be applauded as an innovative way of reaching a large proportion of people who previously relied on informal ways of managing their risks such as relying on the support of their family or their community. However, the drawbacks of this financial product and the lack of transparency by the companies that offer this mechanism of risk management need to be scrutinised. There have been concerns that microinsurance may not be quite what it seems.
The lack of transparency by some corporations means that more and more unscrupulous insurers are exploiting consumers who are unaccustomed to the concept of insuring their assets and income. There are already some insurers claiming to offer free insurance, who fail to inform consumers that their premiums are linked to product purchases such as mobile phone topup’s.
This deliberate choice by insurers not to disclose the truth to consumers is largely based on the assumption that most consumers will struggle to understand the insurance products being offered. They use marketing tactics that lead consumers to believe they are being offered free insurance. Questions need to be asked with regards to the way in which insurance products are being marketed in an unethical manner.
It may not be a stretch to suggest that because profits in the micro-insurance business are hard to come by as it requires large volumes of insurance contracts to make the business viable, companies are being less open and transparent about their insurance products particularly in some countries where regulation of the industry is not stringent.
While countries like South Africa, have made great strides in the regulation of the insurance industry to ensure customer confidence in the industry, by introducing a “Twin Peak” model of financial regulation aimed at addressing the shortcomings of the regulatory structure, other countries in Africa still have a long way to go.
Better regulatory practices need to be developed to deal with the risks of potential abuse in the insurance business. The regulatory models that currently exist in some countries in Africa are largely ineffective because of the slow law making process and unreliable judicial systems.
Rigorous reform of the insurance legal framework is needed in many countries across the continent as well as the establishment of independent regulatory institutions to ensure consumers are not vulnerable or exploited.
The legal market is shrinking. Who is to blame? The economy?
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Above the Law: From The Career Files: Two Things They Don’t Teach in Law School That Will Help You Keep Your Job
Above the Law: From The Career Files: Two Things They Don’t Teach in Law School That Will Help You Keep Your Job. http://google.com/producer/s/CBIwsKX_3A0
The current stop and frisk policy in New York creates paranoia amongst many young people. In 2011, the NYPD made over 684,000 street stops. This is a 603% increase since 2002. Young people often describe how they are roughly handled in an attempt to induce anger in the young person being frisked which will in turn force the person to react in a way that may be perceived as an attack on a police officer.
Stop and frisk disproportionately impacts Black and Latina communities. While there is often the argument that it is an effective way of policing in violent communities, it is clearly conducted in a way that profiles people racially. Research shows that 9 times out of 10, a young person from the ethnic groups mentioned above is stopped and frisked.
The effect of the program is to create fear and mistrust. As long as this policy continues, we will see a growing number of young people from the current generation hold on to the mistrust they have of those who enforce the law.
- Stop-and-Frisk Reforms Can’t be Delayed in NYC: Judge (theepochtimes.com)