Originally the monitoring,
supervision and regulation of the Gambia's insurance industry was under the Finance
Ministry whose powers were given to it by the 1974 Act.
However, the responsibility for
the administration of the Act was given to the Ministry of Justice, to
ensure compliance with the law. The growth in the number of insurance
companies called for the appointment of a commissioner of insurance in
the then existing Finance Ministry. In a move to enhance the overall
efficiency of the financial system, the Central Bank was
given the authority by the Constitution of 1997 to take over the regulation and
monitoring of insurance institutions in The Gambia.
In 1972 there was only 1 insurance company operating in The Gambian
market. This was the Northern Assurance Co. Ltd., later joined by the Gambia
National Insurance Company Limited. The former was largely foreign owned
by the country's colonial masters but was later transformed into a wholly locally owned
insurance company and had its name changed to Capital Insurance
As for the GNIC it was incorporated in January 1974 as a
subsidiary of The Gambia Commercial and Development Bank with a number
of institutional shareholders. It was The Gambia's first indigenously
incorporated company in this sector. Operating originally from 78
Wellington Street and, after 1985, it re-located to its present
premises at 5 Leman Street. In 1979 the Government enacted legislation
which established the Gambia National Insurance Corporation to better
ensure monitoring of its activities. In 1989 the Government passed the
Repeal Act transforming it from a corporation to a company in order to
allow for its privatisation.
The Senegambia Insurance Company was
1981 but ceased its operations in 1996.
The sectors Association (IAG) was formed on 11th August, 1987, by 3
institutions operating within the industry's sector.
Companies & Legislation:
Presently there are 12 companies operating in the insurance
sector of The
Gambia with the latest addition being in December, 2007, of
Takaful Insurance Company which is run on Islamic (Sharia) principles.
The necessity to bring up-to-date the Insurance Act 1974 led The Central Bank
of The Gambia to substantially overhaul its provisions. This led
to the Insurance Act of 2003 which sought to regulate the
business of insurance in The Gambia and to provide for matters
This regulations set out the basic requirements such as paid up
capital, the amount of
solvency margin, deposits for every class of business, and components of its calculation as well as
investment requirements and other regulations.