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Tanzania Industry Welcomes Changes in Insurance Business

At the end of 2007, the insurance industry in Tanzania employed 2,530 people, of whom 982 worked in insurance firms, and the remaining 1,548 were employed by insurance agencies, broking houses and loss assessors and adjusters, however, recent changes in the insurance law that was designed in order to improve its overall efficiency and accountability, have prepared this segment of the Tanzania industry sector to receive both influential and sustainable growth.

Following the recent passage of a Bill by the National Assembly for the Insurance Act 2009, the settlement for claims were provided for after 45 days in addition to the establishment of various appeals tribunals.

In fact, the Daily news reported that several analysts have indicated that the proposed law comes at a time when many victims of road, fire and other accidents are being left without compensation for extended periods of time.

“This law gives teeth to the Commissioner of Insurance (CI) to make sure that the insured get their claims within 45 days,” said the Deputy Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Omar Yusuf Mzee, to Parliament as he was moving the bill for its second reading.

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“We have done calculations and found that 45 days are enough to process payments,” he continued.

Mr. Mzee went on to explain that the proposed law will also enable the commissioner to extend the allotted time for settling an outstanding claim in addition to granting him further control over punishing defaulters.

The proposed law provides for the establishment of the Insurance Appeal Tribunal and the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority so as to allow insurers, brokers and customers alike to file appeals if they do not agree with the commissioner’s decisions.

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In addition, the law also requires at least a one-third mandatory stake be allocated by the firm to Tanzanians in order for it to acquire and secure registration.

“This is a deliberate move,” said Mr. Mzee, “to empower Tanzanians take part in the lucrative industry.”

According to industry analysts, the proposed law combines the regulatory framework included in the country’s Insurance Act 1996 with its Insurance Regulations 1998, which were established with strict guidelines in order to ensure that the early stages of the country’s insurance business was built on a strong foundation.

Today, this attention to detail is evidenced by the fact that the governance of the insurance firms that are currently in operation have remained strict in that insurance firms are required to meet paid-up share capital and solvency margin requirements in addition to holding a certain percentage assets in various investments.

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