The Sunday Mail
CBZ has formed a tie-up to launch a medical and funeral assurance product with hospital group Corporate 24.
The product is meant to tap into all market segments, particularly the informal sector.
Through the new product, which combines both medical aid and funeral cover (medi-funeral), the businesses believe they will be able to cover a huge portion of the uninsured market.
The lender, through its unit, CBZ Life, intends to leverage off the hospital group’s inherent potential, while Corporate 24 is hopeful that it will be able to spread its tentacles into the sector through both the bank’s 70 branches countrywide and its financial muscle.
Last week, CBZ Life managing director Mr Nobert Mureriwa said the partnership was relevant and innovative considering that the medi-funeral plans will give medical aid options to a lot of the SMEs and informal traders who are playing a significant role in sustaining the economy.
The bulk of the players in the informal sector, it is believed, do not have any medical aid cover.
“Even a vendor can now afford to have medical aid plus funeral cover at just $3,” he said.
It is estimated that less than two million Zimbabweans are on medical aid because they cannot afford the current plans available.
In addition, over the years, confidence has been eroded by traditional medical aid societies that have proven to be huge disappointments.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail Business, Corporate 24 chief executive officer Dr Mike Joka said the new products that were launched are innovative and are meant to be adaptable to current market conditions.
“Our philosophy is that everyone deserves medical aid regardless of their pocket or background and you cannot separate illness from death as the two are eventualities that we need to accept.
“Our budget plans are affordable and offer comprehensive medical cover through a range of benefits from consultations to admissions plus associated services.
“All the packages are inclusive of funeral cover in the form of cash payback or a service package from a funeral service provider of choice . .
“The packages start from as low as $3 with the Star Mini; the One Star goes for $6 whilst the Two Star goes for $10. The Three Star and Four Star go for $35 and $50 respectively. All the packages have funeral cover ranging from $500 to $2 000 depending on the package,” explained Dr Joka.
CBZ are underwriters of the funeral cash payback.
Dr Joka also noted that the cards will be accepted by more than 500 service providers countrywide. Corporate 24, which entered into the medical aid market after acquiring the operating licence of UCMS — a company that has been running medical aid since 2008 —is currently on an expansion drive.
An estimated US$10 million has been set aside for its expansion in both Harare and Bulawayo.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is among the seven African countries — of the 10 fastest growing economies on the continent — with an insurance penetration rate above the average 2,9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to research by KPMG. However, the country’s insurance penetration rate remains at a lowly 3,6 percent, but ahead of the more economically advanced South Africa at 2,5 percent.
Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius and Morocco are among the top seven.