The treasury has been given a week by Parliament’s finance committee to consult with the insurance industry over the proposed Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, failing which it might have to delay processing it.
The committee’s decision followed an outcry by industry representatives during public hearings on Friday over the bill, which will set up a process for demarcating the business of health insurance policies and medical aid scheme policies. It also introduces regulations over binder agreements in the short-term insurance industry.
Committee chairman Nhlanhla Nene said the committee would decide on Friday whether the engagements between the treasury and industry had been adequate and whether a further period of consultation was required. The committee is constitutionally obliged to ensure that there is “meaningful consultation” on all proposed legislation.
South African Insurance Association CEO Barry Scott complained that the bill was received by industry just two weeks before submissions were due and so there was insufficient time to consult with members.