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Commission turns down Sunset application

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The Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPC) has turned down the application of Bulawayo-based Sunset Funeral Assurance as it has again failed to meet minimum requirements.

Sunset is one of the 18 companies that were de-registered by the commission last year but had continued to operate despite the cancellation of its licence.

The commission cited lack of property title deeds as a reason for turning down the fresh application.

IPC commissioner Manett Senteni Mpofu confirmed the company had not been re-registered.

A letter to the company by the commission shown to NewsDay reads, “We have received your submissions for registration and the commission is not satisfied with them in terms of Statutory Instrument 183 of 2009 as the property is not in the name of Sunset Funeral.”

According to registration regulations, the company must have either total liquid cash as indicated by commission or have assets or land that must constitute 75% of the requirement and 25% in the form of cash or shares.

In an interview Sunset managing director Fredrick Mutongi confirmed refusal by the commission to grant a license

He said Sunset applied for re-registration late last year using its industrial stand as 75% capital requirement and with the remainder being a combination of cash and shares.

He said they were turned down on condition the stand was leased from council adding the company was in the process of regularising its papers with the Bulawayo City Council.

“We have applied for title deeds to the council,” said Mutongi. “We are waiting for title deeds which we expect would be ready by March or April then we will go for registration,” said Mutongi.

Despite Mutongi saying the company was not operating, he said it felt obliged to offer services to the clients already under the company’s portfolio.

“We are not conducting business as alleged, we are just servicing clients who have policies with us,” he said.

“We no longer solicit for new customers.

“We serve those who already have their money with us.

“If they encounter insurance problems it would be unfair for us to abandon them” said Mutongi.
He said Sunset was already in talks with fully capitalised companies as a contingency measure in case the company was denied a licence.

Mutongi said under the arrangement Sunset will transfer business to fully capitalised companies.

Commissioner Mpofu recently said companies that continue to operate illegally will be fined if found.

Recently five insurance and assurance companies were relicensed after meeting the minimum capital requirements.

The minimum capital requirements for short-term insurance companies is $300 000, reinsurance companies $400 000 and life assurance companies
$500 000.

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