Namfisa Tightens Screws On Insurance Agents

THE Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) has tightened the screws on insurance agents and brokers by introducing tighter regulations.

The regulations, which will come into effect on 1 September, include new capital adequacy requirements, which many agents and brokers say are out of reach and will drive them out of business.

Namfisa said in a circular that from September 01, all insurance agents and brokers must register with Namfisa and some agents say they will also be expected to have as much as N$25 000 as capital adequacy.

BLACKLISTED

The Namibian has learnt that Namfisa reported some of the agents and brokers with debts as little as N$1000 to the credit bureau ITC for them to be blacklisted.

Namfisa said it is a legal requirement that every person who wishes to conduct insurance business as a broker or agent in Namibia must be registered as per requirements of the Long Term and Short Term Insurance Acts.

Namfisa spokesman Isak Hamata told The Namibian that in terms of the Acts, all insurance brokers, whether it is a company or a natural person, are required to meet the registration requirements.

“The rules have not changed, Namfisa is just enforcing the Acts,” Hamata said.

He said all companies and individuals performing the functions of a broker should be registered with Namfisa.

“Should any broker who is registered fail or contravene the provisions in the Acts, that person will be deregistered. Should any person be found doing insurance business without being duly registered, such person will be liable to a fine of N$150 000 or imprisonment for a period of 10 years,” he said.

STRINGENT

Asked if such stringent regulations will not discourage previously disaantaged Namibians from entering the financial services sector, Hamata said Namfisa’s mandate is to protect policyholders and to regulate and supervise the insurance industry in terms of the Acts.

“The Registrar will fail in his duty to perform such if he does not enforce all aspects of the Acts,” he said.

“The rules have not been changed. The Acts have been effective since 1998 and the Registrar is only enforcing them,” he said.

The Namfisa circular stated all insurance and reinsurance brokerage firms, including close corporations and those that are incorrectly registered as agents by Namfisa must be registered as brokers.

Incorrectly registered agents have been aised to return their certificates of registration and reregister with Namfisa.

“New certificates of registration shall only be issued once all the requirements for registration as brokers have been complied with. Such correct registration must be completed by 30 August,” the circular said.

Source : The Namibian