Alvi seeks insurance products for agri-sector | The Express Tribune


Insurance companies should focus on the agriculture sector and develop products aimed at facilitating the sector, stated President Arif Alvi.

Speaking at a session titled “Importance of Transparency in Insurance Sector”, organised by the Federal Insurance Ombudsman on Saturday, the president pointed out that more than 60% of the population was associated with the agriculture sector, hence it should be covered under insurance plans.

He was of the view that risk sharing was important for the stakeholders. In this regard, he gave the example of health cards, which had been introduced to cover medical risks.

Speaking about scams, he told the event participants that banks should create awareness among the public through SMS and phone calls about fraudulent activities.

“Scammers are minting money by applying different techniques,” he said.

He called on the ombudsman to accelerate its efforts to provide maximum relief to the aggrieved policyholders against malpractices.

Appreciating the performance of the Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO), the president said that the department played a significant role in providing free-of-charge and prompt justice to the complainants against the injustices faced by them.

He cherished that the department settled a large number of complaints with the consent of both parties, ie insurance policyholders and insurance companies.

Last year, the FIO provided monetary relief worth Rs410 million to the complainants and this year the figure soared to Rs2.13 billion, he said.

“This number is expected to jump to Rs2.3 billion next year,” he told the participants. “The success of FIO in providing speedy and cost-free justice to complainants led to a 50% rise in the registration of complaints compared to the previous year while the disposal of complaints stood at 90%.” Out of the total registered complaints, more than 90% of the cases were handled within 60 days, the president pointed out. Besides, the FIO also handled the issue of “mis-selling” wisely.

Expressing concern over low awareness of the ombudsman among the people of Pakistan, Alvi mentioned that hardly 4-5% of the public was aware of it. Speaking on the occasion, FIO Dr Muhammad Khawar Jameel said that the contribution of insurance sector to the national GDP was low and efforts were being made to increase its contribution to the national exchequer. “A major chunk of complaints relate to bancassurance,” he said, adding that in one case a bank manager had turned into a sales agent of insurance policies to promote the scheme.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2021.

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