Get closer to communities, insurance firms urged

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Newly opened Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services branch in Plumtree

BY Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, 

INSURANCE companies should open branches in rural communities to broaden their business and increase national savings.

Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) head of prudential services, Mr Pupurai Togarepi,
said this at the offcial opening of a Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services branch in Plumtree on Thursday.

He challenged insurance players to come up with products for low income earners saying the industry was a major contributor to the country’s revenue base.

“Government has come up with the National Financial Inclusion Policy where we are urging insurance companies to get closer to communities to ensure that people can access these
services as they are crucial,” Mr Togarepi said.

“A number of people in rural areas still have to travel long distances to big towns and cities in
order to reach parlours. In the end these people don’t subscribe to insurance companies and
Government loses a lot of revenue in the process.”

Mr Togarepi urged insurance companies to enlist all citizens of the country and appealed to
local authorities to avail land to insurance companies that wanted to establish more branches.

He said the IPEC would continue to monitor players in the insurance industry to ensure that
they adhere to regulations.

“As a regulatory body of the insurance industry we will continue monitoring and examining
products of companies closely to ensure that they are correctly priced and are up to standard.

We also expect rights of members to be preserved and protected.

“We also urge small insurance companies, burial societies and other small players in the
industry to register their operations so they can be protected,” said Mr Togarepi.

He commended Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services for establishing a branch in
Plumtree Town and advised the company to ensure that it employed locals from the border
town for the new branch.

Moonlight provident associates group chief executive officer, Dr Chomi Makina said the firm
has established over 40 branches in the country and four in South Africa.

He said plans were under way to establish more branches. The Plumtree branch was established at a cost of $250 000.

“We opened our first branch in 1995 in Harare and we now have over 40 branches countrywide.

We are in the process of establishing more branches because our vision is to ensure that we are present in every district.

“We also offer repatriation services for Zimbabweans living in South Africa. In South Africa we have personnel in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Durban,” said Dr Makina.

He said they got into an arrangement with South African based insurance companies that were responsible for ferrying bodies from the neighbouring country to the border or airports while Moonlight Funeral Assurance was responsible for collecting the bodies from the border.

Dr Makina said they would engage Botswana authorities in order to extend their services to
Zimbabweans living there.

Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage,
Cde Abednico Ncube, who officially opened the funeral parlour said its existence will go a long
way in developing Matabeleland region.  – The Chronicle

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