Cheap premium insurance takes off

National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has introduced the lowest life premium cover that caters for low and middle income earners in a quest to woo the 'wananchi' to purchase life insurance cover.

The premium dubbed 'Farijika' (be relieved), which went into operation in January, has attracted a number of clients and one is required to contribute a minimum 4,500/- per month and can be paid through mobile phone the same way people make transactions through M-Pesa.

The NIC Director of Marketing and Customer Services, Mr Henry Machoke, says the idea was to change people's mentality so they realize the importance of self insurance coverage.

"This is affordable even for low income earners... and is the first in the history of life insurance," Mr Machoke said over the weekend. He added that Farijika runs in collaboration with Zantel's Ezy-Pesa service.

A study carried out by NIC discovered that accidents were on the high side but on the other hand people are not covered by any insurance despite being exposed to increasing risks. This prompted NIC to decide to initiate the affordable insurance plan.

Data from Traffic Police indicates that in 2010 road traffic accidents claimed the lives of 3,582 people while more than 20,000 got injured with pedestrians and cyclists being at greater risk.

NIC, due to such reason, decided to bring an insurance coverage that would encompass every person, especially those who travel frequently and everyone whose job is risky, mainly the youth who account for 65 per cent of the population -- estimated at 45 million.

Simplifying and easing a daunting task of paying 4,500/- monthly cover by visiting banks or insurance officers, NIC teamed up with Zantel's Ezy-Pesa to enable customers to transfer money using mobile phones.

"Farijika is one of the easiest insurance cover policies and is in very clear terms. In fact, every Zantel client can register by simply going to Ezy-Pesa menu rather than looking for NIC offices or agents to get registered.

"Already, we have good number of clients who have taken the cover using Ezy-Pesa service since it was launched in January this year. We expect more to join," said Machoke.Insurance statistics show that out of 45 million citizens there are fewer than three million registered for life insurance and mostly from the informal sector.

AMEND, an international Non-Governmental Organization operating in the country, dealing with advocacy for road safety for children, road calamities told the 'Sunday News' recently that in recent years accidents have been in the increase than the growth of the country's population.

The NGO said that recent survey also gathered from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal further that at least 3.3 per cent of the population is involved in the road accident comparing to the growth of the populations which increases to an average of 2.9 per cent annually.
Source: The Daily News,dailynews.co.tz , reported by Abduel Elinaza

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