Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
MEMBERS of the Insurance Institute of Bulawayo (IIB) on Friday left the comfort of their offices and spent the day in public, begging for public confidence and trust on services they offer.
The sector conducted a public awareness and client engagement programme in the Central Business District where members explained their services and attended to customer concerns.
The programme was done to mark the ‘Insurance Market Day’, which sought to educate the public and demystify misconceptions about the operations of the insurance industry.
IIB vice president, Ms Nomalanga Jogwe said, Friday was the last day of their international customer service week.
“As IIB we have taken it upon ourselves to host the insurance market day on the last day of the customer service week.
“Basically, we are having the insurance market day to make our members available and open to the public for them to ask any questions concerning insurance so that we demystify the thinking that insurance companies are thieves,” she said in an interview.
Public confidence in insurance has been low since 2008 when thousands of people’s insurance and pension savings were eroded by hyperinflation and no compensation was paid. Against this background, the insurance and pension sector has been perceived negatively by the generality of Zimbabweans.
Market analysts have since called on players in the sector to educate the public on the benefits of insurance cover.
Ms Jogwe said this was the reason why they conducted the event, the first of its kind in Bulawayo.
“We just want to make ourselves available to the public in order to rebuild consumer confidence.
“This is the first time IIB has hosted the Insurance Market Day and we plan to hold the event twice a year in future,” she said. IIB members who participated in the programme included life insurers, short-term insurers and brokers as well as regulators such as the Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC).
Some of the prospective insurance policy holders interviewed by this paper said they wanted to understand more about the insurance sector before becoming policy holders.
“In the past we have read or heard about people who failed to get compensation despite being policy holders,” said Mr Dingumuzi Khumalo.
Ms Nancy Dube said after visiting the life insurers exhibition, she now understood the concept of insurance cover.
“The obtaining inflationary environment is however very discouraging for one to contribute towards insurance cover,” she said. — @okazunga