Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.
The Competition Commission started raiding the offices of eight major insurance firms on Thursday afternoon over alleged collusion and price fixing.
The search and seizure operations took place at the offices of BrightRock, Discovery, FMI – which is a division of Bidvest Life – Hollard, Momentum, Old Mutual Insure Limited, Professional Provident Society (PPS) and Sanlam across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
It claims there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the companies engaged in collusive practices to fix prices or trading conditions in respect of fees for products like retirement annuities, and premiums for dread disease cover, chronic medical condition cover, disability cover, life cover and funeral assistance benefits.
“According to the information at the disposal of the commission, the companies under investigation share information on premium rates for risk-related products and fees for investment products, which enables them to adjust the prices of their existing and new insurance products,” the commission said in a statement.
The commission will seize documents and electronic data to determine whether these firms contravened the Competition Act.
“The search and seizure operation is part of the routine process of evidence gathering and we urge all involved to allow the investigation to run its course. The Commission will at an appropriate stage reveal the outcome of the investigation,” said commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.
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