By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
A MARKET conduct unit regulatory approach to protect insurance policyholders from unfair treatment by insurers has been established by the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA).
The move is also aimed at increasing Zambia’s insurance penetration which is currently at 1.11 percent.
PIA registrar, Christopher Mapani, said the authority had intensified its efforts to protect policyholders.
Mr Mapani said PIA had therefore established a market conduct unit, which would focus on the ‘treating customers fairly’ regulatory approach.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday at the launch of a partnership between Atlas Mara and Sanlam insurance product called Enhanced Family Protection Plan.
“One of the key areas that we have also prioritised as a regulator is market development, which focuses on creating a regulatory environment that will allow insurers to develop innovative and affordable products,” Mr Mapani said.
Mr Mapani encouraged insurance firms to take advantage of the available 97 percent market which had not yet been tapped by innovating affordable products.
He commend Atlas Mara Bank and Sanlam for collaborating to reduce the gap in the insurance sector.
“Consumers of this insurance product will not only access insurance but will also be able to access the financial products offered by the bank thereby also contributing to the goal of financial inclusion,” he said.
He also said insurance companies should consider giving back cash to insurance uptakers that do not claim insurance to eliminate the notion that companies are making money due to limited claims.
“As a way of appreciating your clients, give them back a certain percentage because the public feels insurance companies are just making money,” Mr Mapani said.
Atlas Mara Managing Director, James Koni, said the product was vital in contributing to the development of a sustainable financial market.
Mr Koni said the product would also help improve the uptake of insurance products in Zambia as well as expand financial inclusion.