If you are approached to take out an insurance policy or when you plan to do so on your own accord, you may be asked by the broker or agent to sign a blank contract and that the rest of the information will be filled in later at the office. If that happens, REFUSE!

Pay special attention to the type and content of the contracts

that you are being asked to sign. These contracts are legally enforceable, just like the contracts you might sign to buy a home or a car. Make sure you ALWAYS read everything in the contract you are asked to sign; DO NOT SIGN BLANK DOCUMENTS.

Also insist that all the terms in the contract be explained to you in the simplest terms and/or in the language that you understand.

If you sign blank forms, dishonest brokers, agents or insurance officials might complete them with information that could increase the cost of the policy significantly, even two to three times the original quote. Signing blank contracts could also result in you buying wrong insurance products which may strain you financially.

By refusing to sign blank or incomplete contracts you will prevent unnecessary financial loss or suffering from related penalties.

Always insist on a copy of the contract as this will help to protect you later if the document you signed is subsequently altered.

If an agent or broker insists that you sign a blank or incomplete

contract, consider cancelling and move to another insurance company. Even though it is an inconvenience, it is better to cancel than to deal with the consequences of dealing with a dishonest agent or broker.

Quick Tips: Don’t become a victim of insurance malpractices

• Make sure that the insurance contract you sign contains no unfilled blank spaces.

• Pay attention to pre-checked boxes in the contract; they could bind you to terms you don’t want.
• Make sure everything you were promised verbally by the agent or broker also appears in writing.
• Don’t be pressured into signing the contract if you are not yet ready or comfortable.
• Don’t be afraid to seek advice if you need it. A lawyer or financial advisor can help.
• Remember, contracts are designed to protect both parties. Make sure you fully understand all the details before signing on the dotted line.

• Keep a copy of every document you sign.

Consumers are encouraged to report such violations to:

The Registrar of Long-term and Short-term Insurance or call our Complaints Department at: 061 290 5000 (main) or 061 290 5133 (Ms. Marina K. Ishidhimbwa) or 061 290 5207 (Ms. Hilka Alberto), Fax: 061 290 5122; for online complaints email; visit our website at www. or visit us on the: 6th Floor, Alexander Forbes

House 154, Independence Avenue, Windhoek.

* NAMFISA treats all information obtained from the

public with confidentiality.

Issued by:

Phillip N. Shiimi