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IPEC to bring sanity to insurance products distribution

Business Reporter
The Insurance and Pensions Commission is working with several stakeholders to bring order to the distribution of insurance products, head of prudential supervision Pupurai Togarepi said.

He said this following a blitz that was carried out on unregistered insurance agents and fake insurance cover notes last year.

The operations was conducted by IPEC in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police where more than 12 unregistered agents operating outside post offices and Zinara offices were arrested and convicted.

“Very soon it will be a thing of the past. We are working with stakeholders to bring order to the distribution of insurance products.

“The insuring public is better off not buying insurance cover from touts as they expose themselves to fake insurance cover. There is a high potential to lose both your premium and assets in the event of a mishap,” said Mr Togarepi.

The biggest change has seen Zinara and genuine insurers linked digitally so that there are no insurance cover notes, only entries in databases with Zinara printing the insurance certificate with the licence. But there are still fake certificates and still older insurance sales yet to expire.

Mr Togarepi said the blitz had no financial benefit accruing directly to IPEC but more to the economy as people will now buy insurance cover from registered players who will then channel the premiums into the mainstream financial system.

It is believed that Government was losing about $5 million annually to vehicle insurance scammers and a mere one third of the half a million vehicle population in the country had genuine insurance cover. Insurance is now far closer to universal.

The new system seems to have largely eliminated that problems of fraudsters working closely with some insurance companies, by using parallel systems and counterfeit insurance cover notes that are not captured by the companies.

In an interview with The Herald Business last year Mr Togarepi said such blitz on insurance touts makes sure that the insuring public being prejudiced by these bogus agents will now receive proper insurance cover for their assets.

He said such blitz operations will protect duly registered insurance players from unfair competition brought by these unscrupulous elements fleecing unsuspecting members of the public.

IPEC has vowed to clamp down on insurance companies that are using unregistered agents.

“All companies who are illegally using unregistered agents are being dealt according to the law.

“The blitz to weed out unregistered agents and fake cover notes was very successful,” said Mr Togarepi.

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