Can foreign life insurers sell USD denominated life insurance to South Africans?

The issuance of this type of insurance in South Africa is governed by the Long-Term Insurance Act. A ‘long-term insurer’ is defined as a person registered or deemed to be registered as a long term insurer under the Act. A ‘long-term policy’ means an assistance policy, a disability policy, fund policy, health policy, life policy or sinking fund policy, or a contract comprising a combination of any of those policies; and each of these are defined.

No person may carry on any kind of long- or short-term insurance business unless that person is registered or deemed to be registered as an insurer, and is authorised to carry on the kind of insurance business concerned. No person may, without the approval of the Registrar, apply to a business a description which includes the word ‘insure’, ‘assure’ or ‘underwrite’ or any derivative of those words, or perform any act which indicates that he carries on or is authorised to carry on insurance business, unless he is appropriately registered or entitled to carry on such business.

To the best of my knowledge no foreign insurers are currently authorised as described above, hence the typical requirement to take out such a policy whilst one is abroad, which can only be described as challenging and potentially carries very negative consequences.

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