The Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) has cautioned members of the public to only deal with licensed insurance players to safeguard and protect their interests.

In a statement, communications manager Doreen Silungwe stated that the Authority renews licenses of all insurance players annually as a way of scrutinising their suitability and, therefore, protect the interests of policyholders and beneficiaries.

“The Authority has licensed 30 insurance companies; 20 general insurance and 10 long-term (life) insurance companies; 38 insurance brokers; three re-insurance companies; three re-insurance brokers; two risk surveyors; three loss adjusters; three claims agencies and 213 insurance agents. The Authority has also registered four new pension schemes and licensed seven pension fund administrators and eight pension fund managers” Silungwe stated.

“All licensed persons are required to display their licenses prominently at their places of business. We (PIA) wish to warn the public that it is illegal to establish or operate or manage an insurance entity or to engage in or transact in insurance business without a valid licence issued by the Registrar of Pensions and Insurance as it contravenes Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the Insurance Act No. 27 of 1997 as amended by Act No. 26 of 2005.”

She also warned that it was illegal under Section 120 to insure any assets, liabilities and interests situated in Zambia with unlicensed insurers.

According to Silungwe, PIA has so far granted licenses to 295 insurance players by January 31, 2019, across the country to transact insurance business compared to 342 granted licenses in 2018.

She explained that the Authority was still considering some late applications and predicted that the numbers for insurers to be granted licenses would further increase as the New Year unfolds.

“As for pension schemes we have a total of 245 to-date. In 2018, we had 242 pension schemes and 3 for this year so far. Registration can take place at any point during the year. We always ask companies to advertise sometime in August or September, some companies sent their applications late and those are the ones we consider in March. Ordinarily, everyone should be given (licenses) at the beginning of the year and also they are businesses who want to register the companies during the year,” stated Silungwe.