Econet Insurance, a subsidiary of EcoCash Holdings Zimbabwe, has partnered with Capitol Insurance Brokers and City of Harare to launch CitySure, a one-stop-platform that allows residents to buy insurance cover and also pay their monthly council bills.
At an event attended by a senior representative of the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC), among other dignitaries, EcoCash Holdings CEO Mr Eddie Chibi hailed the city authorities for opening their doors to private-public partnerships that will drive mass access and insurance inclusion of underserved communities.
“As a diversified digital solutions provider, what we bring to the table is our capabilities to leverage technology and innovation to deliver solutions that leave no one behind for thousands of city residents,” he said.
With CitySure, instead of making many trips to several offices for one to settle their monthly bills and buy insurance, individuals and corporates can now conduct all these transactions under one roof.
Mr Chibi said in the first phase of CitySure, residents will be able to buy a full range of short term insurance packages – including vehicle, home insurance and cover for personal belongings.
“The next phase will see CitySure unveil life and health insurance packages, as well as the collection of diaspora remittance cash,” he said.
Capitol Insurance Brokers Managing Director Mr Philip Mutasa said the tripartite agreement under the CitySure brand will help to broaden access to insurance products for thousands of residents in Harare, and soon in other cities and towns.
“Our focus is on untapped markets in areas with high population densities, with the aim of demystifying insurance and increasing insurance penetration.
“These are so many citizens spending their hard-earned income on assets which must be protected through insurance,” Mr Mutasa said.
“We are also catering for high-end markets with unique products, recognising such risk management issues as the introduction of gated communities and rapid response security programmes, which reduce risk.
“In all our target markets, insurance will be delivered at your doorstep, with the efficiencies of digital technology in premium payment and claims settlement,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, the Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC)’s Director, Insurance and Microinsurance, Mrs Sibongile Siwela, said the launch of CitySure will promote financial inclusion and result in those previously underserved having access to affordable insurance products.
“A baseline survey on the uptake of insurance that we conducted in 2019 found that distribution channels were one of the key barriers to insurance uptake.
“We therefore believe that CitySure will help break that barrier and facilitate access to insurance by Harare residents in the comfort of their homes. I am advised that the intention is to scale up this exercise to cover other towns and cities, which is a welcome development,” Mrs Siwela said.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, the Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Harare Metropolitan, who was the Guest of Honour at the launch, said the tripartite partnership between Econet Insurance, Capitol Insurance and City of Harare will ensure that crucial services are brought closer to the people.
“From the briefing I got, this partnership will create a win-win situation because the council will realise 10% of the premiums paid by the residents as commission. The funds will then be ring-fenced towards insurance and risk management for the City of Harare,” he said.
“The partnership will also provide for the refurbishment of some of the councils’ facilities, which are in dire need of a facelift. As a government, we welcome this initiative which will also create employment as recruitment of staff will be done from those districts. Our young people in residential areas will be given an opportunity to work under this arrangement.”
EcoCash Holdings Chief Commercial Officer Mr Gilbert Tsongorera said in the coming months, CitySure will be launched in other cities, towns and rural areas across the country.
“We decided to start off with the City of Harare being the largest city in the country. But our goal is to grow CitySure to other local councils and towns countrywide, in line with the vision of the partnership of driving insurance inclusion,” he said.
Mr Tsongorera added that EcoCash Holdings was working on ensuring that all its group products – ranging from mobile money platforms, agriculture to education – are available at any of the councils’ offices.