Insurance should be made easily accessible for all people in Bangladesh. Insurance in the developed world covers everything of people from home to everywhere. Because of this, they feel much more safe and secure, said Desh General Insurance Company Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohammodi Khanam in an interview with The FE.
Narrating the significance of National Insurance Day, she said the Independence Movement of Bangladesh started with the historic Six Clauses (Chhoy Dofa). And the Six Clauses were written in the office of an insurance company. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started his career in 1960 by joining the insurance company called Alfa Insurance. While sitting there, he wrote the historic Six Clauses. And thus the seeds of freedom were sown by Bangabandhu.
However, Bangabandhu made an innovative decision to develop the insurance sector after independence of Bangladesh. This is why Hon'ble Prime Minister declared 1st March the National Insurance Day. We are celebrating this day with due importance irrespective of party affiliation.
Bangabandhu also played an important role in classifying the institutions into life and non-life. The Sadharan Bima Corporation Act and the Jiban Bima Corporation Act were prepared and passed under the guidance of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government passed the Insurance Act 2010 and the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Act 2010.
The Parliament passed the two insurance laws on March 3 2010 to further strengthen the regulatory framework for the insurance industry. The new laws came into effect on March 18 2010. A total of 81 insurance companies are being regulated by the IDRA under the laws.
Focusing on the developments in the past year, she said they were constantly following the IDRA and adhering to all the instructions issued by it. The IDRA played a leading role in the stopping commission system, especially commission trading, and it stopped.
When asked how to increase the insurance penetration rate, she said there was no compulsory insurance or mandatory insurance in Bangladesh except Marine Cargo Insurance. That is why the income in the insurance sector was low. If IDRA could introduce mandatory insurance as in other countries of the world, then it could create an avenue for tapping the huge potential in the insurance sector.
A few days ago "we gave several proposals in a meeting with IDRA. They included compulsory insurance covering earthquake, fire and marine issues such as steamers, cargo, etc. I have given a proposal specifically on Umrah Hajj to IDRA as the idea was unique. The IDRA has taken this new idea and established the Umrah Hajj Insurance accordingly," she said.
Then she turned to challenges in the insurance sector. A big challenge in the country remained reinsurance. Earlier there was a practice of paying the premium a little late. Or if there was a claim, the payment was made in installments. In this case, comes the issue of cash loss. Sadharan Bima Corporation is not giving it.
Sadharan Bima Corporation is saying, "You pay it from your pocket and I will adjust it with your premium," she quoted the corporation as saying. IDRA was consulting with Sadharan Bima Corporation to address the issues properly.
In addressing the trust deficit, she said, Desh General Insurance Company Limited (DGIC) were settling the claims in the fastest possible time, so that the insurer felt confident and relieved that the dues could have been paid very quickly.
On the environment front, she said, the company was working on tree plantation and distribution of winter clothes to the needy poor people. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they were working and also took steps to protect health of the employees and always worked to protect the interest of the clientele. They provided online support and ensured physical presence and service for the insured.
The company was working to encourage innovation in the insurance industry such as introduction of Health Insurance, Umrah Hajj Insurance, Bankers Blanket Bond, etc., she disclosed.
Insurance should be made accessible for all people, she said. Insurance in the developed world covers everything of people from home to everywhere, because of which they feel much more secure. "We want to ensure a safe and secure life for the people of Bangladesh. We want to bring insurance to all people in a simple and easy way and give them secured life."
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