Foreign currency for selected insurance products: IPEC

Foreign currency for selected insurance products: IPEC

Noah Kupeta

HARARE, The Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) has announced that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has approved denominated policies on selected products in line with industry market demands.

The development has been hailed by various stakeholders as positive considering the current hyperinflationary environment in Zimbabwe as it will go a long way in preserving the value of policies and pensions.

IPEC announced on their twitter handle @IPECZW that the approval was done after deliberate consultations with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as part of concrete measures to keep the insurance industry afloat.

“Following the introduction of the SI 42 of 2019, we conducted consultations with @ReserveBankZIM which resulted in approval of forex denominated policies on selected products as per industry request!

“Policies approved are existing foreign currency denominated policies to run their natural expiry, international travel insurance, vehicles in transit, customs bond insurance, bank cash in transit and Safari operator’s license,” said IPEC.

The development comes at a time when government is working with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and banks to ensure that pensioners access cash for their pension pay outs.

Analysts hailed the development saying it is a strategic move by IPEC considering the harsh economic environment in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, pensioners are currently bearing the brunt of liquidity challenges as they fail to access cash from their respective banks with most of them being forced sleep on bank pavements for more than a night in anticipation of cash.

Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Dr Sekai Nzenza told journalists in Bulawayo that she is aware of the plight of pensioners and was now engaging the RBZ at technical level to ensure that pensioners access their money.

“We are reviewing the current method of payment and are already in conversation with banks at technical level to find a better way for pensioners to access money.

“We have to speak with the RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya and Treasury for that to happen,” she said.

Pensioners who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said they welcome the decision by IPEC and government through RBZ on foreign currency resuscitation on their pensions and premiums.

“IPEC should stretch their hand to us pensioners especially from rural areas, they should not be selective on this noble idea.

“Why are they selective, what happened to the Commission of Inquiry on Conversion of Zimbabwean dollar to United States dollar, let it be above board, unless they want to be elitist and segregatory,” said a policy holder who declined to be identified.

However, IPEC is defying all odds to ensure that the pensioners’ premiums remain valuable in light of the macroeconomic misfortunes.

The regulatory board instituted the Commission of Inquiry into the Conversion of Insurance and Pension Values in September 2015 to March 2017 to establish the total value, nature and type of assets owned by insurance companies and pension funds; to determine the causes of loss of value of insurance and pension benefits and to assess the conversion methods and processes of insurance and pension assets and liabilities to Unites States dollars among other key issues.