Michael Tome Business Reporter
FIDELITY Life Assurance has launched a unit-linked investment product, “Vaka Yako”, which is designed to facilitate customers to build up savings towards individual home ownership at an affordable cost.
Vaka Yako is designed to help individuals to grow their funds in a structured savings model, which guarantees individual homeownership as the end product.
The scheme is an individual life policy investment plan that permits individuals to purchase a stand from a pool of stands anywhere around the country from a range of between US$44 and US$400 per month.
Fidelity said it would maintain a pool of stands from across Zimbabwe, where individuals may elect to get a residential stand in a geographical location of their choice from the investment pool.
The facility does not only stop at stand purchasing, but also has a provision for upgrade and modernisation of existing properties whose investment premiums are payable in US dollars on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
In the event of a currency change, Fidelity guarantees to repay the policyholder in US dollars while the change of currency would not affect the currency of chosen investment.
Speaking during the product launch, Fidelity Life Assurance sales and marketing manager Mr Edwell Gondo said the facility was being introduced at a time when there is a high appetite for ownership of modern residential houses, as evidenced by fast growth of residential areas in cities and towns around the country.
“This is a product that covers everyone who needs to buy a stand, build a house or renovate their existing structures and it is affordable and meets the different preferences of people and has flexible payment options,” said Mr Gondo.
He highlighted that in the event of death the unit-linked investment facility provided for a US$5 000 benefit pay out.
Mr Gondo further alluded that the facility was a culmination of Fidelity’s goal to create a gateway to people’s desire of home ownership, after realising that many individuals were failing to meet the deposit requirements by private developers and some councils.
“We felt the need to extend a hand and help people to achieve their desired goal of home ownership, after we observed limitations that are around, we have seen private property developers pegging stand deposit amounts that many people may not afford, quite a number of people find it difficult to raise the deposits that are required, very few people end up buying from them,” he said.
The scheme has a maximum term of 15 years with an immediate death cover as well as an automatic paid-up option after a two year period.
In the event that the investor is no longer able to continue paying premiums to the maturity date, they can apply for paid up status or opt out on the condition that the contract would have been in force for at least 2 years from the date of inception.
Ages between 18 and 60 will be eligible for the investment package.