Insurers, reinsurers and brokers doing business in Botswana may wish to respond to the Insurance Industry Bill 2014 published for comment.

The Bill contains many similar provisions to South African insurance legislation.

It is a composite piece of legislation dealing with the licencing requirements and regulation of all insurers, including reinsurers and insurance brokers, agents and representatives operating in Botswana.

All insurance required by Botswana residents or resident companies must be placed with Botswana insurers and reinsurers unless the regulatory authority issues an exemption for a particular class of insurance.

Where a class of insurance is not available from a Botswana insurer or reinsurer, an insurance broker may place that insurance with a non-resident insurer. Regulatory approval is required prior to placing that business.

Where an insurance policy is effected outside of Botswana by a Botswana resident or resident company, other than an insurer licensed under the Act, the policy must be effected through the offices of a Botswana licensed insurance broker.

Despite any contract provisions in the policy or in any agreement relating to the policy, the policyholder of a policy issued by a Botswana insurer would be entitled to enforce the rights under the policy against the insurer in any court in Botswana.

There are proposed restrictions on the transfer of shares of an insurer to persons directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a Botswana insurance broker.

In assessing damages and in any court action, before or after the commencement of the Act, the court may not take into account any sum paid or payable from the death of the deceased under any contract of insurance.