Ruining trust on the sector
Ibrahim Khalil Jewel: The contribution of the insurance sector to the country’s economy is below 1 percent due to the lack of confidence. To increase the contribution of insurance to the economy and to make the common people aware about insurance, the government has celebrated National Insurance Day yesterday like every year.
On Wednesday (March 1), the finance department of the government’s finance ministry and the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) organized a nationwide program.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the insurance day yesterdayat the Bangabandhu International Conference Center presided over by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
It is to be noted that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman joined the then Alpha Insurance Company as the head of the region on March 1, 1960 as part of a far-reaching plan to achieve the country’s independence by mobilizing people from all walks of life at a time when politics was banned.
And to commemorate this date, on January 15, 2020, following the IDRA application, the government declared March 1 as ‘National Insurance Day’.
According to IDRA data, the number of life and general insurance companies in the country’s insurance sector is 81. The number of insured customers in these companies is 88 lakh 68 thousand 436. But in 2021, the number of insurance was 94 lakh 23 thousand 465.
That is, compared to 2021, 6 lakh insurance policy has been decreased in 2022. Which is very little in terms of resources and population of the country.
Gokul Chand Das, a former member of IDRA, said that the country’s insurance companies do not have the trust of government institutions and common people. Because companies cheat customers on insurance claims.
Agents of companies show many temptations when it comes to insurance. Again does not want to pay expired insurance money or insurance claim money. For an insurance claim of Tk10,000, another Tk10,000 has to be spent. Because of this, common people do not come to get insurance.
According to IDRA data, the number of insurances in 2022 was 88 lakh 86 thousand 436. In that year, there were a total of 30 lakh 62 thousand 468 insurance claims by customers. The insurance amount of these customers was Tk 16 thousand 820 crore. Out of this, 19 lakh 12 thousand 869 insurance claims of Tk 10 thousand 260 crore 38 lakh have been paid.
In other words, 81 insurance companies are not paying Tk 6,560 crore of 11 lakh 49 thousand 599 insurance claims to customers in 2022.
The number of new insureds is constantly decreasing due to non-payment of insurance claims. At the time of Corona i.e. in 2020 the insurance policy number was 96 lakh 54 thousand. Which has decreased by 8 lakh to 88 lakh in the last two years.
According to sources, the amount of insurance claims in 2021 was Tk 13 thousand 473 crore 30 lakh. Of this, the companies have paid Tk 8 thousand 656 crore 2 lakh. About Tk 5 thousand crore of insurance claims of customers have not been paid.
Similarly, in 2020, the amount of insurance claims was Tk 9 lakh 717 crore 23 lakh. Tk 6 thousand 631 crores 45 lakh claims were paid that year. That is, the insurance claim of Tk 3 thousand crore has not been paid.
In 2019, the year before the deadly corona, the amount of insurance claims was Tk 9 thousand 828 crore 58 lakh. Tk7 thousand 840 crore 42 lakh has been paid. In the previous year in 2018, the insurance claim was Tk 10 thousand 465 crore 91 lakh. Out of that Tk7 thousand 798 crore 6 lakh insurance claims have been paid.
Sheikh Kabir Hossain, President of Bangladesh Insurance Association, an organization of insurance company owners, has admitted the non-payment of insurance claims. He said several companies are delaying payment of insurance claims. We will inform the board of these companies. They should pay insurance claims quickly.
He said, most of the insurance companies are paying the claims of the customers. But a handful of companies are ruining our insurance business. It cannot be allowed to happen.
BM Yusuf Ali, President of Bangladesh Insurance Forum, an organization of insurance executives, said that out of 35 life insurance companies, 20-25 companies are paying the insurance claims of customers on time. But 10 to 15 companies are not paying customers’ insurance claims.
Because of this, the trust of the general public towards the insurance company is negative. Apart from the regulatory agencies, everyone should take action by identifying them.
According to the data of IDRA, the companies which are neglecting to pay the insurance claims of the customers are – Baira Life Insurance, Sunlife Insurance, Sunflower Insurance, Homeland Life Insurance, Prime Islami Life, Padma Islami Life and FareastIslami Life Insurance etc.
Recently, the customers have also filed case against the MD and Chairman of these companies. Arrest warrants have been issued against the MD, Chairman of many companies.
Chairman of IDRA Mohammad Zainul Bari said that 8 to 10 companies have been accused of not paying insurance claims. We have called the board of directors including the MD-Chairman of the companies and directed them to pay the insurance claims within one month.
I have given instruction for paying insurance claims by selling assets if necessary so that they cannot evade in any way.
He said that all kinds of initiatives are being taken so that customers do not suffer with insurance claims.
According to sources, there are currently 81 insurance companies in the country. Among them there are 35 life insurance companies and 46 general (non-life) insurance companies. Both life insurance funds and general insurance assets have grown despite the multifaceted crisis over the past year.
Even in 2021, the real growth of total insurance premiums worldwide fell to 3.4 percent amid the crisis of the Corona pandemic, in Bangladesh, the growth of insurance premiums was 8.3 percent, which increased to 12.04 percent in 2022.
According to statistics, the gross premium amount at the end of 2022 stood atTk 16 thousand 812 crore 65 lakh. Out of this, the gross premium of life insurance is Tk 11 thousand 399 crore 51 lakh. And general insurance (non life) Tk5 thousand 413 crore 14 lakh.Which is providing big liquidity to the country’s banking sector at this time of crisis. Tk 1,305 crore 73 lakh have been deposited in the government exchequer in 2022 on account of taxes on premiums earned by life and non-life insurance companies.
At the same time, the contribution of this sector to the country’s economy has also increased. About 1 crore people are related to insurance in the country and employment has been given to lakhs of people. And the new people-friendly and welfare-oriented insurance policy has contributed greatly to this success.
IDRA Director (Deputy Secretary) Md. Jahangir Alam said, IDRA is working by coordinating with the government to identify the existing problems in the insurance sector and solve them. IDRA is moving ahead with specific plans to achieve the goal of a developed, prosperous, smart Bangladesh by 2041 through the development of the insurance industry.
He said that for the development of the insurance sector, a project has been started with a total of Tk 632 crore of Tk 118.5 crore government funding and Tk 513 crore from the World Bank.
He also said that realizing the importance of insurance, the new Insurance Act, 2010 has been formulated by revising the old Insurance Act.
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