The Competition Commission (CompCom) says it has sufficient grounds to suspect that eight of SA’s major insurance companies were involved in a conspiracy to fix prices and/or trading terms in relation to fees for investment products.
It therefore conducts a search and seizure at BrightRock Life Limited; Discovery Limited; FMI, a division of Bidvest Life Limited; Hollard Insurance Group (Pty) Ltd; Momentum, a division of MMI Limited; Old Mutual Insurance Limited; Professional Provident Society Limited and South African National Life Insurance Company (Pty) Ltd (Sanlam).
Investment products include “retirement annuities and premiums for risk-based products, namely life insurance such as critical illness/chronic illness cover, disability insurance, whole life insurance and funeral benefits in breach of section 4(1)(b) ). )(i) of the Competition Act”.
“According to information available to the Commission, the companies under investigation share information on premium rates for risk-related products and fees for investment products, allowing them to adjust the prices of existing and new insurance products.
“The search and seizure operations are being carried out as part of an ongoing investigation which was launched by the Commissioner in January 2021. Operations are conducted at five sites in Gauteng, two in the Western Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Documents and electronic data will be seized and analyzed along with other information collected to determine whether policyholders have violated the Act.