The first Ipec (Insurance and Pensions Commission) registered Micro Insurance firm in Zimbabwe, has revealed a host of new micro insurance products, which are set to be launched in November this year.
By Donald Tafadzwa Chidoori
Coverlink Holdings, which has interests in Botswana, recently registered as a micro insurance firm, with plenty of mystery surrounding what insurance products they would unveil.
Ipec early this year made it a legal requirement for all firms in the micro-insurance business to register with the regulator and to comply with the rules and regulations as set by the the micro-insurance framework.
The framework is meant to, not only regulate the micro insurance industry in the country but to also extend the protection against risk to the low income segment of the economy.
Ipec has identified micro insurance as a critical instrument for delivering effective and efficient insurance services and products as well as promoting the national financial inclusion strategy.
Micro insurance is a growth area, with a potential market of up to $4 billion policies globally, generating between $30 billion and $50 billion in annual premium revenue.
Ipec through promoting micro insurance seeks to increase the insurance penetration ratio from the current 1,5 percent to reach the 70 percent uninsured population in Zimbabwe. With the majority of this 70 % finding it difficult to afford the traditional insurance products currently in the market. Micro insurance products (because of accessibility and affordability) are expected push up the penetration rate higher as has happened in other countries like Ghana.
Risk and Insurance Zimbabwe managed to catch up with Founder and Managing Director of Coverlink Holdings Abel Munhande, who lifted the lid on some of the new micro insurance products that will hit the market and the motivation behind Coverlink’s development of the new micro-insurance product line.
While Munhande could not be drawn into divulging the ‘nitty gritties’ of the micro insurance products that the firm is set to launch, he gave some insight on what the new products would cover and the type of market to be covered.
The venture into formalized micro insurance products by Coverlink follows the firm’s success in the legal aid insurance business. Coverlink has also had some successes in a wide range of insurance products targeting civil servants and the low income population in Zimbabwe.
The firm’s Legal Guard Cover policy is growing in popularity, such that the firm has decided to remodel it, to meet – more – the needs and wants of the low income earners.
It would also make sense for Coverlink to give the legal guard cover a refresh, as the number of competitive legal aid policy products – specifically targeting the poor – in the market have significantly increased.
Coverlink’s Legal Guard Plan Cover for the low income earners will cover, labour cases, criminal cases and civil matters, “at very affordable prices,” promises Abel Munhande. Subscription will be on a monthly, quarterly or even annual basis, depending on the client’s needs.
“it’s generally expensive to afford legal cover in our individual capacities and this is where Coverlink Legal Guard comes in! We want our clients to have peace of mind, knowing that we will be there for them in their times of need,” – Abel Munhande.
Coverlink already has a panel of independent attorneys, who it works closely with. The firm will tap into these attorney’s unique offerings to offer easy and affordable legal services for its members.
Promoting a savings culture …
Due to the harsh economic conditions currently prevailing in the country a lot of people have been surviving from hand to mouth, with nothing to save for future needs. Abel Munhande say’s the firm has found a solution.
The firm has developed a low cost savings plan – Coverlink Savings Plan – which is modeled for medium to long term investments of up to 10 years. Subscription to this plan is easy and unlike most savings plans in the market NO medical or health check ups are required. In addition this plan can taken up by both low income earners and high income earners.
Under this plan monthly investments will grow with investments interest and the client is guaranteed of premium paid plus interest.
“Coverlink Link Savings Plan Benefits
No medical or health check up required
Access to your investment in case of emergencies
No maximum limit to as how much you can invest” – Abel Munhande.
“This savings plan is suitable for personal retirement funds, pension funds , accumulating capital for school fees and other medium to long term financial objectives,” says Mr Munhande.
More competition in the funeral cash plan business …
Losing a loved one is never easy, and its made worse when you have to worry about not being able to give them a dignified funeral. A funeral is the time when you should be able to reflect and remember all the things that made that person special without having to worry about burial arrangements.
Coverlink says it is in the process of creating a competitive range of cash plan products that will even all single parents to cover themselves and their dependent children without having to pay about putting a strain on their wallets.
Like most cash plan policies on the market, the policy provides a specified cash benefit on death of a covered member and pays out the sum assured immediately after receiving all the required documents. We all however wait to see the packaging and pricing of the cash plan policy … Will it be any different from the products already in the market? we shall wait and see.
So, it appears that there will be an exciting few days ahead for low income earners with the launch event of the new micro insurance products expected by the end of October 2017. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE