29 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Doves Beefs Up Fleet

DOVES Funeral Assurance has beefed up its fleet with new buses and removal ambulances as the country's oldest funeral assurer moves to improve service delivery.

An executive with Doves said the seven buses and four ambulances were acquired recently to ensure the group is able to meet members' expectations.

"It means we will meet on service delivery and that we honour our claims in time," an executive said.

The addition of buses and ambulances comes at a time the company wants to grow its market share from the current 25%.

Competition is stiff in the funeral assurance business with players fighting for the shrinking base in the wake of a collapsing economy.

A recent report by the Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) showed that the funeral industry wrote US$9 million in net premiums in the first quarter to March 31 up from US$8 million in the same period last year.

During the period, Doves' net premiums were US$2 million up from US$1,5 million in the first quarter of last year.

Ipec statistics showed that new business in the first quarter was limited to 3% for the industry as recurring premiums remained flat at 97% of total gross premiums.

"This may be a red flag for industry to invest in product innovations coupled with robust product distribution strategies," Ipec said.

"The Commission encourages the funeral industry to be more competitive in product design and packaging in order to match potent competition from both their life assurance peers and options to self-insure.

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