Insurance sector geared to meet challenges - IASL | Sunday Observer

Insurance sector geared to meet challenges - IASL

12 September, 2021
Iftikar Ahamed
Iftikar Ahamed

The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) celebrated National Insurance Day on September 1. Insurance Month is commemorated to spread awareness about the importance of insurance and its relevance at present. As all industries in the country undergo continuous challenges and changes during the global pandemic, the insurance industry too has been dynamic in its approach to customers in providing timely policy solutions. 

President of IASL, Iftikar Ahamed provided a look inside the insurance industry, detailing the changes in the industry landscape and IASL’s role during this time. 

“The pandemic has had mixed effects on the insurance industry in the past year. The Life Insurance Industry Gross Written Premium (GWP) grew by 16% to cross the Rs. 100 billion threshold last year, and the first six months of 2021 saw a growth of 30%, which was a remarkable number despite the effects of the previous year. The ban on the import of motor vehicles had a detrimental effect on the General Insurance sector, which had a negative growth of 1.3% towards GWP of Rs. 99.5 billion last year. The first half of 2021 too recorded a negative growth of 0.3%. “As the apex body of the industry, insurance awareness month is utilized to spread awareness of the relevance and importance of insurance to every Sri Lankan. We have seen many insurance providers explore new avenues that would be timely solutions for our customers as they push the traditional limits in solutions and selling by transitioning into the digital sphere, reducing overall turnaround times.

These have to be taken to the public in quick and efficient ways, where aggressive marketing and sales becomes key. The Insurance Awareness month therefore, becomes more crucial this year,” he said. Speaking on how the pandemic has affected the industry and the steps taken to ease the burden of those affected, Ahamed said, “The insurance industry has stood by its policyholders by coming forward to meet their Covid claims despite the pandemic, which is usually an exclusion.

Especially during the third and fourth waves, honouring claims has been a moment of truth for many customers and a true testimony to the fact that we are there for Sri Lanka. 

“Rewarding and recognising efforts, especially at times such as these, is important for the industry given that their role has been extremely challenging during this period. The National insurance awards took place on September 1 as a virtual event where the brightest and the best talent in the industry received awards for 2019 and 2020, since we could not have this event last year,” he said.

On insurance companies maintaining customer interest, Ahamed said, “The attention and interest of the public on insurance and the protection that it affords is now quite evident.

The industry needs to capture this moment and maintain engagement with meaningful benefits whilst ensuring that all policyholders are treated fairly and equitably.”