The Competition Commission is conducting search and seizure operations at the premises of eight insurance companies operating in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape provinces.
The raid included the offices of:
- BrightRock Life
- FMI, a division of Bidvest Life
- Hollard Insurance
- Momentum, a division of MMI
- Old Mutual Insure
- Professional Provident Society Limited
The Commission said it has reasonable grounds to suspect that have engaged in collusive practices to fix prices and trading conditions in respect of fees for investment products.
The collusion, the Competition Commission said, included retirement annuity and premiums for risk-related products such as:
- Dread disease cover and chronic medical condition cover.
- Disability cover.
- Life cover.
- Funeral assistance benefits.
According to a statement by the Competition Commission, the companies may have contravened section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Competition Act.
“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.
The search and seizure operations are being conducted as part of an ongoing investigation that the Commissioner initiated in January 2021.
The operations are being conducted at five sites in Gauteng, two in Western Cape, and one in KwaZulu-Natal.
During the search, the Commission will seize documents and electronic data, which will be analysed with other information gathered to determine whether these firms have contravened the Act.