The insurance industry is losing close to $5 million annually as a result of vehicle insurance scammers who masquerade as insurance agents preying on the country’s private and public passenger vehicle owners.
The Insurance and Pensions Commissioner (Ipec), Tendai Karonga called upon motorists to watch out for fake insurance agents and touts who are selling fake cover notes.
Tendai Karonga also ordered all insurers, brokers and intermediaries to immediately stop using “unregistered” touts for marketing and selling motor insurance policies.
“Insurance touting poses serious reputational risk to the industry and in some cases the insuring public has been offered fraudulent cover notes exposing the public to loss of both assets and premiums paid,” he said.
The flooding of counterfeit insurance cover notes on the market has led to a situation where only a third of Zimbabwe’s vehicles are genuinely insured. Leaving two thirds of vehicles exposed and .
In a raft of measures to curtail the prevalance of fake cover notes, Ipec has published a directive that will protect motorists from unscrupulous elements fleecing unsuspecting members of the public.
Under this directive (Circular 7 of 2017) any insurance company or unregistered agent who is found guilty of insurance touting shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine under the Insurance Act.
Industry analysts say that motorists should always buy their motor vehicle insurance policies from reputable insurance companies, brokers and agents and should avoid buying policies on the streets or ‘under the trees’.
“Buying insurance is an important financial decision so when you decide to buy isnurance its not like you are buying vegetables on the streets. You should go to a reputable company to protect yourself and savings,” said Kudakwashe Sithole a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Commerce at Zimbabwe Open University.