- Commenced on 1 August 1988
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Insurance Act [Chapter 24:07].
2. Application of ActThis Act shall not extend or apply to—
3. InterpretationIn this Act—“actuary” means a person who is a member or fellow of an institute, faculty. society or association of actuaries approved by the Commissioner for the purposes of this Act;“appointed day” means 1st August, 1988;“approved securities” means—(a)securities issued by the State, a statutory body or a local authority;(b)such other securities as the Minister may approve from time to time for the purposes of this Act;“auditor” means a person registered as a public auditor in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act [Chapter 27:12] who is approved by the Commissioner for the purposes of this Act;“chairman”, in relation to an association of persons, includes the individual presiding over the board of directors or other governing body of that association;“child”, in relation to any person, includes any child adopted by that person in terms of any law, including customary law;“class of insurance business” means a class of insurance business prescribed in terms of section sixty-three;“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Insurance and Pension and Provident Funds appointed in terms of section 19 of the Insurance and Pensions Commissions Act [Chapter 24:21] (Act No. 7 of 2000);[definition amended by Act 3 of 2004]“contingent obligation dependent on human life” means—(a)an obligation to pay a particular person certain sums of money at specified intervals. or a certain sum of money, or to provide for a particular person a certain other benefit—(i)on the occurrence of the death of a particular person or on the occurrence of the birth of a child to a particular person al any time or within a specified period; or(ii)in the event of a particular person continuing to live throughout a specified period or specified periods; or(b)an obligation assumed—(i)until the occurrence of the death of a particular person; or(ii)during a specified period or until the occurrence of the death of a particular person before the expiration of that period;“co-operative insurance society” means a co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act [Chapter 24:05] which, by its constitution, is formed to carry on insurance business and of which all policy owners are members thereof;“director” includes an individual occupying the position of director or alternate director of an association of persons, or a member or alternate member of a committee of management or of any other governing body of an association of persons by whatever name he may be called;“executor” has the meaning accorded to it in terms of the Administration of Estates Act [Chapter 6:01];“financial year”, in relation to a person, means a period at the end of which the balance of the accounts of the person are struck, whether or not that period is a year;“former insurance law” means the Insurance Act [Chapter 196 of 1974] or any law repealed by that Act;“funeral policy” means a policy whereby the insurer assumes, in return for a premium or the promise of premium, an obligation to provide, on the death of any person, benefits, not exceeding in value a total of one thousand two hundred dollars, which consist principally of provision for the funeral of that person or the grant to another person of some other non-monetary benefit, whether or not the policy provides for—(a)the payment, at the option of the insurer or any other person, of a sum of money instead of the provision of a funeral or the grant of a non-monetary benefit;(b)the payment of a sum of money in addition to the provision of a funeral or the grant of some non-monetary benefit;“group life insurance scheme” means a scheme under a policy whereby the insurer assumes, in return for a premium or the promise of a premium, an obligation to provide benefits on the disablement or death of the members of any group of persons, including the employees of any one employer or of a combination of employers, or members of the families of such employees, or the members of any group of persons carrying on the same occupation, but does not include a personal accident policy;“insolvency” shall be construed in accordance with the Insolvency Act [Chapter 6:04];“insurance agent” means a person who, on behalf of a registered insurer or registered insurers—(a)initiates insurance business; or(b)does any act in relation to the receiving of proposals for insurance, the issue of policies or the collection of premiums;but does not include an employee of a registered insurer who receives a salary;“insurance broker” means a person who, on behalf of any other person. negotiates insurance business with insurers, and includes a person who negotiates reinsurance business on behalf of any other person, but does not include an employee of a registered insurer who receives a salary;“insurance business” means the business of assuming the obligations of an insurer in any class of insurance business whatsoever, whether defined in this section or not, which is not declared to be exempt from this Act in terms of paragraph (d) of section two, and includes reinsurance business;“insurer” means a person, including a society, carrying on insurance business otherwise than as an insurance agent or as an insurance broker, who is not a person or a member of a class of persons declared to be exempt from this Act in terms of paragraph (c) of section two;“life insurance business” means the business of assuming the obligations of an insurer under life policies, funeral policies or sinking fund policies;“life insurance fund” means the fund into which the receipts and from which the payments of an insurer in respect of his life insurance business are paid;“life policy” means a policy whereby the insurer assumes. in return for the payment or the promise of the payment of a sum or sums of money or the promise of a periodical payment of a certain premium, a contingent obligation dependent on human life, and includes any contract of insurance customarily regarded as a life insurance contract, but does not include a funeral policy, a personal accident policy, a sinking fund policy or any insurance policy whereby the insurer assumes a contingent obligation dependent on human life in which the contingent obligation forms a subordinate part of the insurance effected by the policy;“Minister” means the Minister of Finance or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“owner”, in relation to a policy, means the person who is entitled to enforce any benefit provided for in the policy;“personal accident policy” means a policy whereby the insurer assumes, in return for the payment or the promise of the payment of a sum or sums of money and otherwise than incidentally to an insurance effected by means of some other class of policy, an obligation to pay a certain sum or certain sums of money to, or provide any other benefit for, a particular person in the event of an accident or sickness causing the death or injury or disability of a person;“policy” means a written insurance contract, whatever the form in which the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract are expressed or created, and includes a sinking fund policy, but does not include an insurance contract in which—(a)a person or a member of a class of persons declared to be exempt from the provisions of this Act in terms of paragraph (c) of section two assumes the obligations of an insurer; or(b)a person assumes the obligations of an insurer in a class of insurance business declared to be exempt from this Act in terms of paragraph (d) of section two;“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made in terms of section eighty-nine;[definition inserted by Act 3 of 2004]“prescribed securities” means—(a)stocks, bonds or other like securities issued by the State, a statutory body, or a local authority, and includes, in relation to non-life insurers and the class of insurance business carried on by them, treasury bills, or similar short-term bills issued by a statutory body or local authority; and(b)investments approved or prescribed by the Minister from time to time for the purposes of this definition;“principal officer” means the principal officer of a registered insurer or registered insurance broker appointed in terms of section seventy-four;“registered insurance brokers” means an insurance broker registered in terms of Part VIII;“registered insurer” means an insurer registered in terms of Part III or Part IV;“reinsurance” means the insurance of any class of insurance business;“sinking fund policy” means a contract whereby one party to the contract assumes the obligation to pay, after the expiration of a certain period or during a specified period, a certain sum or certain sums of money to a particular person in return for the payment or the promise of the payment from time to time of a certain sum of money by the other party to the contract;“society” means a mutual insurance society as described in subsection (2) of section eleven;“trustee”, in relation to an insolvent estate, means a trustee as defined in the Insolvency Act [Chapter 6:04].
Part II – Special responsibilities and principal functions of Commissioner
4. Performance of functions by CommissionerIn performing his functions in terms of this Act, the Commissioner shall act in consultation with the Insurance and Pensions Board established in terms of section 5 of the Insurance and Pensions Commissions Act [Chapter 24:21] (Act No. 7 of 2000).[section as substituted by Act 3 of 2004]
5. Special responsibilities of CommissionerIn the performance of the functions conferred upon him by this Act, the Commissioner shall at all times have regard to the need to attain the following objects, namely—
6. Functions of CommissionerThe functions of the Commissioner shall be the following—
Part III – Registration of insurers other than mutual insurance societies
7. Insurers to be registered
8. Persons disqualified to be registered as insurers
9. Application for registration as an insurer
10. Registration to be publishedThe Commissioner shall cause a notice of the registration of an insurer to be published in the Gazette and in one or more such newspapers circulating in Zimbabwe as the Commissioner may determine.
Part IV – Registration of mutual insurance societies and special provisions relating to such societies
11. Interpretation in Part IV
12. Societies to be registered
13. Application for registration of society as insurer
14. Special provisions relating to foreign societiesA society that is not a local society shall, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section thirteen, be deemed to be a local society if the Commissioner is satisfied that—
15. Effect of registration and prohibition of registration as or conversion into company
16. Constitution of society
17. Persons disqualified to be elected or appointed as directors of societies
18. Composition of boards of directors of societies
19. Limitation of liability of members of societiesThe liability of a member of a society in relation to the society and in respect of the acts or omissions of the society shall be limited to the amount of any premium or contribution payable but unpaid by him in respect of any financial year at any time after the date on which such premium or contribution fell due.
20. Restriction of use of the word “mutual”No insurer, other than a society which is—
21. Conversion of insurance companies into societies
Part V – Cancellation of registration of insurers
22. General provisions with respect to cancellation of registration of insurers
23. Cancellation of registration to be publishedThe Commissioner shall cause a notice of the cancellation of the registration of an insurer to be published in the Gazette and in one or more such newspapers circulating in Zimbabwe as the Commissioner may determine.
Part VI – Special financial requirements as to the carrying on of insurance business by registered insurers
24. Margin of solvency sufficient for the purposes of carrying on insurance business
25. Insurers to maintain assets in Zimbabwe
26. Insurers may hold shares in their holding or subsidiary companies
26A. Insurers to hold funds in certain securities
Part VII – General provisions governing the carrying on of insurance business by registered insurers
27. Registered insurers to notify Commissioner of changes in certain matters
28. Publication of authorized capital, etc., of registered insurers
29. Insurers to keep separate accounts for different classes of insurance business and maintain insurance funds
30. Accounts and balance sheets, etc., of registered insurers to be submitted to Commissioner
31. Audit of accounts of insurers
32. Insurers to comply with requirements as to compulsory reinsuranceAn insurer shall, in respect of the insurance business carried on by him in Zimbabwe, comply with the applicable provisions of the Zimbabwe Reinsurance Corporation Act [Chapter 24:17] relating to compulsory reinsurance.
33. Amalgamation or transfer of insurance business and conversion of society to company
34. Statement in case of amalgamation or transfer of insurance businessWithin three months of the date of completion of a transaction referred to in subsection (10) or (2) of section thirty-three, the combined registered insurer or, as the case may be, the registered insurer to whom the business or into which the society has been converted, shall deposit with the Commissioner—
Part VIII – Provision governing the carrying on of business by insurance brokers
35. Insurance brokers to be registered
36. Insurance brokers to hold investments in approved securities and maintain professional indemnity
37. Insurance brokers to submit annual returns
38. Cancellation of registration of insurance brokers
Part IX – Special provisions relating to life and other policies
39. Periodical investigations to be made into financial position of life insurers
40. Reinsurance contracts of life insurersNo life insurer shall enter into a contract of reinsurance against any liability in respect of his life insurance business otherwise than—
41. Restriction of payment on death of children under fourteen years of age
42. Life policies effected by married persons
43. Life policy on own life: protection afforded during life
44. Life policy on own life: protection afforded on death
45. Protection afforded in respect of life policy inuring to spouse or children
46. Special provisions relating to persons married in community of property
47. Selection for realization of life policies in respect of which protection is affordedIf—
48. Partial realization and partial conversion of life policies
49. Provisions in case life policy ceded or trust policy cannot be kept up
50. Life policies ceded or premiums paid with intent to benefit someone at the expense of a creditor
51. Proof of ageIf—
52. Age incorrectly stated
53. Death of insured by his own act
54. Lost or destroyed life policies
55. Life policy may include disability benefits
56. Discrimination between life policies, etc., prohibited
57. Application of Part to sinking fund policies
58. Application of Part to funeral policies and other provisions in regard thereto
59. Days of grace, paid-up policies and non-forfeiture provisions: life and sinking fund policies
60. Days of grace, paid-up policies and non-forfeiture provisions: funeral policies
61. Grant of more favourable terms than those specified in section 59 or 60 not precludedNothing contained in section fifty-nine or sixty shall preclude an insurer from granting to an owner of a policy of the kind referred to in either such section more favourable terms than those specified for that kind of policy in section fifty-nine or, as the case may be, sixty.
Part X – Functions of the Master and the Commissioner under this Part and of an inspector appointed in terms of this Part
62. Commissioner may extend certain periods specified under this Act
63. Commissioner may classify insurance business
64. Commissioner may demand information
65. Commissioner may alter or adapt prescribed formsOn the application of, or with the consent of, a registered insurer or an applicant for registration as an insurer, the Commissioner may alter any prescribed form for the purpose of adapting the form to meet the circumstances of the registered insurer or applicant.
66. Commissioner may require information to be supplied in EnglishThe Commissioner may require any person who furnishes to the Commissioner, in terms of this Act, any statement, other documents whatsoever in a language other than the English language to provide a translation of that statement, certificate or other document in the English language at that person's expense.
67. Investigation of the affairs of an insurer
68. Deposit of approved securities by life insurers under investigation
69. Investigation of the affairs of an insurance broker
70. Annual reports by Commissioner
Part XI – General
71. Decisions of Commissioner subject to review by Minister
72. Restriction of placement of insurance business outside Zimbabwe
73. Change of name unauthorized except with the permission of the Commissioner
74. Registered insurers and insurance brokers to maintain principal office and appoint principal officer
75. Action by policy owners against insurers
76. Certificate of deposit of approved securities
77. Inspection of documents, etc.
78. Display of certain information where business is conducted
79. Effect of Commissioner’s certification of documentsA document purporting to be certified by the Commissioner as a document furnished to the Commissioner in terms of this Act or to be a copy of such document shall, prima facie, be deemed to be such a document, or a copy thereof, and shall be admissible in evidence as if it were the original document.
80. Documents furnished to Commissioner in terms of this Act to be signed and accompanied by copiesAn insurer or insurance broker shall be regarded as having failed to comply with a provision of this Act requiring an insurer or insurance broker to furnish documents or copies of documents to the Commissioner, unless—
81. Sums insured etc., to be stated in currency of Zimbabwe
82. Policy not invalid by reason of failure to comply with lawA policy issued by any person whether before, on or after the appointed day, shall not be invalid merely because that person contravened or failed to comply with any law in force applying to that policy.
83. Certain policies to be printed in clearly legible letters, etc.
83A. Insurer to inform insured of duty to disclose material facts
83B. Effect of non-material representation by insured
84. False statements, etc.
84A. Registered person failing to comply with condition of registrationA registered insurer or registered insurance broker who contravenes or fails to comply with a provision of this Act with which it is his duty to comply as a condition of his registration or continued registration shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level eight or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[section inserted by Act 22 of 2001]
85. Persons acting on behalf of unregistered insurers
86. Certain titles not to be used except by persons registered in terms of this Act
87. Prohibition of certain practices or methods of conducting business
88. Unregistered person holding himself out to be insurer or insurance brokerAny person who holds himself out to be an insurer or insurance broker whilst not being registered as such in terms of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level fourteen or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[subsection as substituted by Act 22 of 2001]
90. Transitional provision: deregistration as companies of existing societies
91. Transitional provisions: registration of insurers registered in terms of Cap.196 of 1974 and savings
History of this document
01 August 1988