NIC launches new policy targeting fire accidents

Wednesday September 15 2021
NIC pic

National Insurance Corporation's Director-General Dr. Elirehema Doriye speaking to staff during the Sabasaba exhibition.

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. A market survey conducted by the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has revealed the existence of high demand for property insurance.
NIC has therefore decided to add a feature to fire insurance to enable a large number of people to join, especially those in the low-income strata.
The policy which is under the name of ‘Linda Mjengo’ is expected to be officially launched in September, it will enable clients to insure houses or building and get incentive in case of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.
The insurance policy comes a few weeks after fire in Kariakoo market on July 11 which burnt down assets of various traders and put others at a crossroads regarding the fate of their business and property which were uninsured.
An earlier report on the insurance business in 2020, released recently by the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (Tira) shows that fire insurers dominate the market by 22.7 percent, second after motor by 33 percent.
Last year alone, insurance companies paid Sh55.170 billion as compensation for fire accidents, an increase of 13.4 percent, which means that disasters are inevitable.
Speaking to The Citizen , NIC Insurance Officer, Robert Mfinanga said they have done research and identified the need for more insurance policies  especially for houses and buildings.
“Before we came up with this service, we did research in the market and looked at the needs of the people, then we found out that many people need housing insurance,” he said.
He went on to say that, in a year in which a customer has not experienced a fire or natural disaster, they will receive a 25 percent discount if he/she re-insures for another period.
“We do this to ensure that people of all income strata are covered.”
In addition to the business, Mr Mfinanga said the tenant could also insure his/her assets inside the houses such Television among others so that in the event of a fire, the policy covers him.
“The government's policy is to ensure that insurance services reach every Tanzanian by 50 per cent by 2030, so the product is part of the implementation the target,” he said.
For her part, Marketing and Customer Service manager Esther Steven said the product is is currently undergoing initial testing.

“We are going to reach out to individuals in partnership with Local Governments Authorities by providing education so that they know the importance of insurance. This insurance provides compensation for example when someone comes to someone's house and accidentally gets injured or bitten by a dog, he/she will be compensated,” she said.
The NIC product comes at a time when the world is experiencing recurring disasters, with fire accidents taking the lead.
Worse still, many Tanzanians are still unaware of the importance of insurance policies and thus find themselves suffering huge losses in times of disaster.
Speaking to The Citizen recently, one of the traders whose property was burnt down in the Kariakoo Market recently Martha Jackson says she suffered heavy losses, yet the property was insured.
“Although some of the few items were saved, they cannot compensate for the losses I have suffered and I do not know when I will stand up again,” she said.