By Tapiwa Mvula | Associate
Insurance Brokers are entities or persons that buy and sell insurance policies on behalf of other personsThey act as intermediaries for firms, entities and individuals who want to insure their property in exchange for a fee or commission.
LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
Insurance Brokers are governed by the Insurance Act of 2010 (Cap 47:01) [the Insurance Act] and the Financial Services Act 14 of 2017 [the Financial Services Act].
The Reserve bank of Malawi [the Bank] is responsible for the licensing and regulation of insurance brokers in Malawi.
THE LICENSING PROCEDURE FOR INSURANCE BROKERS
An insurance broker can obtain a license by filing an application to the Registrar of financial institutions which must contain the following information:
- Name and registered address for the intended company or businesses;
- Contact details e.g. e-mail address and telephone numbers;
- Name of the principal officer;
- Proposed board of directors;
- Indicate legal form of the applicant;
- Bank details of the proposed company;
- Personal details of individuals who will be working in the brokering firm and their qualification;
- Name of the Auditor for the company; and
- Name of insurance broker through whom you will place business as sub broker.
The registrar of financial institutions may, in her/his discretion require further information before processing the application.
The application is accompanied by an assessment non-refundable fee of MK150, 000.00 [Malawi Kwacha One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Kwacha].
As a regulatory body and/or authority, the Reserve bank of Malawi in line with the Insurance Act and the Financial Services Act provides the following requirements for insurance brokers to be licensed in Malawi
- The applicant must be a body corporate registered under the Companies Act or Business Names Registration Act as a partnership or sole proprietorship;
- The registered name of the applicant must include the word ‘Insurance Broker” or Assurance Broker;
- The sum of MK10.0 million being the minimum paid up capital for an insurance broker;
- At least 60 percent of the paid-up capital must be in form of liquid asserts and the remaining 40 percent must be in asserts directly beneficial to the insurance brokering business;
- The application for registration should be accompanied by a business plan to include a three-year financial projection of premium generation, commission income and projected expenses.
- The proposed insurance broker must have a principal officer who must be a chartered insurer or have equivalent professional insurance qualification acceptable by the Registrar
- The proposed insurance broker must have a board with diverse mix of skills, knowledge as required by the registrar’s directive on corporate governance; and
- Upon being licensed, the applicant is be required to pay a minimum coverage fee of MK15, 000, 000.00 [Malawi Kwacha Fifty Million] and MK2, 500, 000.00 [Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Kwacha only] being Professional indemnity insurance policy and Fidelity insurance policy respectively.
REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS IN MALAWI
Below are some of the registered and/or licensed insurance brokers in Malawi
- Norris Insurance Brokers;
- Kingfisher Associates Insurance Brokers;
- Cosmos Insurance Brokers and Consultants;
- Eagle Insurance Brokers Limited;
- Alexander Forbes Malawi Limited;
- Relief Insurance Brokers;
- Aon Malawi Limited;
- Guardian Insurance Brokers Limited;
- Rhino Insurance Broking and Consulting;
- Blue Insurance Brokers Malawi Limited; and
- Swift Insurance Brokers.
CANCELLATION OF LICENCE
An insurance broker’s license can be cancelled on the following grounds:
- If any person, who has, under any law within or without Malawi relating to bankruptcy or insolvency, been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt or insolvent, and has not been rehabilitated or discharged, or has made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with, creditors, which has not been rescinded or set aside; or
- If any person, whose licensing as such, or the continuation in force thereof, would, in the opinion of the Minister, be contrary to the public interest.
RENEWAL OF INSURANCE BROKERS LICENSES
A license to operate as an insurance broker expires every 31st day of march every year and requires renewal.
The application for renewal is submitted to the registrar by 31st day of January every year.
Late submission of renewal application attracts a penalty of MK15,000.00 [Malawi Kwacha Fifteen Thousand Kwacha Only] for every month of non-compliance.
In general, buying and selling of insurance policies are conducted through insurance brokers who are registered and regulated by the conditions outlined in this guide.