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FML to compensate policyholders

First Mutual Life is awaiting approval from the Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) to create a new life assurance policy that would compensate policy holders who had subscribed to the now defunct Ecolife.

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

Ipec head of prudential supervision Pupurai Togarepi this week confirmed the development. Ipec interevened to protect Ecolife policyholders after First Mutual’s partners in offering the product, Econet Wireless and Namibian firm Trust Co of Namibia pulled out.

“First Mutual is in the process of creating a new product similar to Ecolife although on a different platform and is awaiting the approval of the commissioner as per standard procedure,” said Togarepi. First Mutual submitted the proposal last year.

First Mutual Life entered into a partnership with Econet Wireless and Namibia-based Trust Co in 2010 to give life assurance services to Econet subscribers.

In the partnership, led by Econet, Trust Co provided software platform for the delivery of messages on life cover status for subscribers, Econet Wireless was the agent, while First Mutual was the insurer.

Togarepi said the termination of the life assurance policy was unfair to policyholders, forcing the regulator to act to protect customers and prompting First Mutual Life to come up with measures to settle the matter.

More than 1,6 million subscribers to the Econet Wireless Ecolife insurance scheme were left stranded following a legal wrangle between the telecommunications giant and Trust Company Mobile of Namibia.
The case is currently pending in the Supreme Court.

Econet Wireless lost the case to Trust Co Mobile (Pvt) Ltd at the High Court but appealed against the judgement at the Supreme Court.

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