Insurance & social welfare law

Insurance Law

The legal framework for insurance law is provided by the CIMA Code (Treaty) which means the “Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets” (Conference Inter-Africaine des Marches d’Assurance), came into force on February 15, 1995 for 15 member states including; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros Islands, Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tchad, and Togo. The seat of the organisation is in Libreville, Gabon.
The CIMA treaty establishes an integrated organisational body of the African insurance industry within 15 West & Central African states with uniform rules adopted to regulate and supervise the insurance industry in these 15 member states. In addition to the CIMA Code, the competent organs of the organisation adopt, from time to time, binding regulations & decisions, on the one hand, and non-binding recommendations and consultative opinions on the other hand. Moreover, member states reserve the right to regulate certain aspects of insurance, including insurance tariffs regulations, civil responsibility for motor vehicles, commissions allocated to insurance brokers and brokerage firms, supervision of the profession of technical experts, etc.

So basically, the CIMA Code is made up of Five Books. Book I of the Code regulates insurance contracts. Part I to III of this Book covers various types of insurance except marine insurance, insurance on inland waterways, reinsurance agreements concluded between insurers and reinsurers, and credit insurance operations; Book II deals with compulsory insurance on motorized land vehicles, their trailers and articulated trailers; Book III governs formation, grant of licenses and operation of insurance companies; Book IV lays down accounting rules applicable to insurance organizations; While Book V deals with insurance intermediaries such as brokers, general agents and other insurance and investment intermediaries. The CIMA Code comprises two main bodies of rules:

  • rules which regulate insurance contracts; and
  • rules which apply to conduct of insurance companies.

The CIMA Code also lays down the specific details of the form of insurance contracts, rules relating to the terms of the contract, rules relating to modification of the contract, rules for assessing of claims, duties of the insurer and rules relating to the formation and operation of insurance companies.
Marine insurance in Cameroon is governed by the Code Communautaire de la Marine Merchande (Merchant Marine Community Code) of August 3, 2001 revised in 2012. This Code is also a regional legislation applicable in the CEMAC Zone. Maritime insurance is governed by Article 672 to 735 of the Code. These provisions lay down rules that are common to diverse marine insurance policies such as the obligations of the insurer, the obligations of the insured and indemnity in case the particular peril occurs, on the one hand, and rules specific to diverse insurance policies such as Body insurance, Optional Insurance, and Liability insurance.

Aviation insurance is equally regulated by a special law in Cameroon, notably the law on the Regime of Civil Aviation in Cameroon. The law provides for compulsory insurance for airport managers, bodies in charge of exploitation and management of aviation installations and services, all aircrafts flying in the Cameroonian airspace as well as professional risk insurance cover for the flight crew.
Dayspring Law Firm provides the following legal services relating to the insurance business in the CIMA zone: drafting & reviewing of all types of insurance contracts (personal or life insurance, health insurance, group insurance, professional liability, property insurance, fire insurance, occupational risks & industrial injury insurance, automobile insurance, general liability insurance, workers compensation, reinsurance, aviation & aircrafts insurance, marine insurance, guarantee insurance, export-credit insurances), assisting clients to incorporate and license their insurance companies, groups of insurance companies and intermediaries, enforcement of payment of premiums, preparing & filing actions for recovery of indemnity & damages, counselling clients on insurance law, insurance activities, liquidation, supervision, administration & restructuring of insurance companies, transfer of portfolio of insurance contracts, and related matters.
Our law firm equally assists insurance companies and intermediaries in compliance controls by the Regional Commission for Insurance Supervision, the Ministry of Finance (in charge of the insurance sector) and the Council of Ministers of Finance, as well as in disciplinary proceedings before this body which is the insurance supervisory body of the CIMA zone. We also advise insurance corporations on accounting rules applicable to the insurance activity in the CIMA zone. We are counsel in social welfare activities.

Social Security Law

In Cameroon, the institution in charge of managing social security issues is the National Social Insurance fund (NSIF). Social Security law is regulated by a plethora of laws in Cameroon. The sector itself is broken down into three (03) different branches, including, family allowances, occupational accidents & illnesses, and old age pensions, invalidity, and death. The principal legal instrument in this area is Law no 69/LF/18 of November 10, 1969 instituting a regime for old age pensions, invalidity and death, as amended by Law no 84/007 of July 4, 1984 and Law no 90/63 of December 19, 1990, with its implementing texts being Decree no 74/733 of August 19, 1974 and Decree no 74/759 of August 26, 1974 organising the regime of civil pensions, as amended by Decree no 94/036 of May 1, 1994. These are the main texts, but there are several other instruments which regulate this area.
In a nutshell, Dayspring Law Firm’s social security lawyers provide advice, assistance and representation on all welfare, pension, and benefits issues. We assist families, surviving spouses of deceased persons, persons who have been victims of occupational accidents & illnesses and retirees in processing their social security benefits, workers’ compensation, processing unemployment benefits, maternity leave benefits, sickness benefits, medical expenses, social security registration, etc. We equally advise companies and employers on the regulatory framework of social security and on applicable compliance requirements.