ZIMBABWE – Zimnat, an insurance company, has received exchange control permission by The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to invest policyholder’s funds contributed in foreign currency in offshore financial markets.

The exchange control approval relates to Zimnat Life Assurance’s Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan (DFCP), which is designed for Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora.

It terms of its architecture, DFCP is a long-term funeral cover where one pays premiums for 20 years and gets covered for the rest of their life after the premiums paying period.

DFCP was conceived at Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) and RBZ approved the issuing of insurance policies in foreign currency for Zimbabweans living in the diaspora.

Destiny Financial Services was appointed in 2012 to be the agent of Zimnat Life Assurance for the DFCP product with the primary mandate to promote, market and extend the sale of funeral cover plans to Zimbabweans in the diaspora through online channels.

“Due to the prevailing macro-economic environment in Zimbabwe and upon the request of Zimnat, RBZ has granted authority to ring fence funds related to DFCP for investment offshore.

“This guarantees the ability of Zimnat, as the underwriter to settle claims in the currency contracted,” Zimnat said.

Zimnat has partnered with South Africa insurer, Sanlam, Africa’s single largest non-banking financial services company.

IPEC and RBZ gave Zimnat authority to ring fence funds related to DFCP for investment offshore to guarantee the underwriter’s ability to settle claims in the currency and value contracted.

Zimbabwe has been unequivocally supportive of diaspora related products. Circular 13 of 2019 from IPEC deals with the authority to offer selected insurance policies in foreign currency,

As a policy, Zimnat said it engages internationally reputed re-insurers to carry any risk that Zimnat cannot carry, including but not limited to currency related risk and has in place sufficient protections to guarantee the settlement of all DFCP claims in foreign currency.

Zimnat said the alleged dropping of Zimnat as an underwriter by Destiny Finance is a non-event although the insurer had no authority stop a non-exclusive agent like Destiny Finance from engaging an underwriter of their choice, particularly to sell new business.

“It is not possible for Destiny Finance to transfer the Zimnat Life policy to another insurer. It is therefore incumbent upon the policy holder to satisfy themselves as to the terms and conditions of any prospective new policy on offer,” Zimnat said.