LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Stanbic Bank Zambia has officially launched its insurance brokerage, Stanbic Insurance Brokers Zambia (SIBZ) at a colourful event in Lusaka this week.
Stanbic is the first bank in Zambia to receive an insurance brokerage license from the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA).
The new company will provide insurance products sourced from a range of providers as well as offer risk management advice, life and pensions products, health insurance consultancy and claims service expertise.
Speaking during the launch, Stanbic Insurance Brokers Chief Executive Officer Chilufya Nyirenda said SIBZ would distribute a competitive range of products tailor-made to meet the needs of both existing and future customers while also enabling the firm to place the business with the client’s preferred underwriters.
“Now that we have been formally introduced to the insurance fraternity, our focus immediately shifts to providing the public with market-leading products and services.
“Our goal as a bank that proudly calls Zambia home has always been to make a positive difference in people’s lives and drive the country’s growth. Part of that growth is new investments such as the introduction of this new insurance subsidiary that will not only create employment opportunities in the country but also present a new and innovative player in the country’s insurance sector,” she said.
“Our drive to make a difference in people’s lives goes beyond merely providing them with a pleasant service and cutting-edge customised products, we also want to help them grow and protect their investments through our bancassurance programme.”
Mrs Nyirenda added that Stanbic Insurance Brokers would work to help accelerate the growth of the insurance industry through customer education and investment.
“I would like to assure the PIA that Stanbic Insurance Brokers will play its part to promote public awareness and accelerate the sector’s growth.
We will continue to employ measures to supplement the authority’s efforts to ensure clients are provided with quality services as we have always done with our banking products.”
Speaking at the same event, Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane encouraged other companies to emulate Stanbic’s drive to help grow the insurance industry adding that it was the right thing to do for Zambia.
The bank chief said that Stanbic introduced SIBZ as a way of helping customers manage their risks.
“Stanbic Bank is a leader in the extension of credit in Zambia. Extension of credit in the major sense is equivalent to the extension of risk. Therefore, it is important for us as an extender of risk in the economy to also find ways of helping our customers manage that risk through insurance.
Through the brokerage firm, we will not only be affording customers the opportunity to select bespoke services but will also provide them with convenience which is very important to us.”
Mr Gabaraane challenged players in the insurance sector to come up with ways to expand insurance services beyond what was available on the market and reach the uninsured.
He noted that through its extensive reach and position in the economy, Stanbic Bank would facilitate the expansion of insurance services to parts of the country that remain unserved.
“We will also leverage technology to ensure cost effective insurance access for our customers. Stanbic will work on modalities to make insurance premiums affordable and facilitate easier payment plans encourage more people to come into the insurance fold.
By doing this what we are saying is that we are here in the economy, we have been the largest in terms of financial services and we will be the largest in terms of providing insurance services.”
The Stanbic boss also emphasised that Stanbic Insurance Brokers would not be bringing competition to existing service providers but would be complementing a service they were already providing to the market by creating strong partnerships with them.
“By working together we’ll be able to serve the public a lot better than we already are. Bringing more players onto the scene will only really benefit the customers which is what we are all here to do.”
And Pensions and Insurance Authority Deputy Registrar in charge of Insurance Titus Nkwale said that the launch of Stanbic Insurance Brokers was a clear demonstration of ‘thinking outside the box’ and how synergy between a bank and insurance service providers can create an environment for clients to receive better services and help grow the insurance sector.
“It is the authority’s desire to see more stakeholders come on board and help propel the industry forward. the current low penetration rate in the sector means that it has massive scope for growth and increased contribution to national GDP,” he said.
“To stimulate this growth, insurance must be made relevant to the average citizen through education and customer centric products. This low rate of penetration can be attributed in part to the lack of adequate information about the benefits of insurance among members of the public. The absence of information creates room for misinformation which in turn builds mistrust of the sector by the public.”
We are confident that an outfit like Stanbic Insurance Brokers which will be the first line of contact with clients on insurance for Stanbic Bank will do a good job of educating members of the public on the value preposition of insurance and the products available on the market.”
Mr Nkwale said that despite the low uptake of insurance, the sector had recorded strong growth in the last five years.
“The insurance industry in Zambia has been growing in double digits in recent years despite the low uptake.
Last year it recorded K2.7billion in Gross Written Premium (GWP) sustain an annual increase of about 11% for non-life and 16% for life insurance products for the past five years.
The PIA has the primary mandate to ensure the market is stable and that customers are treated fairly. Further, in a growing economy like this one a regulator is given the extra mandate to grow the industry using whatever legal manoeuvres and other initiatives available at its disposal.