Published: Monday, April 8, 2013

Saarc members to build up ties in insurance

Farzana Chowdhury, additional managing director of Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd in Bangladesh, addresses the concluding ceremony of the first Saarc Insurance Regulators Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka yesterday. Naba Gopal Banik, member of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Bangladesh, Deepak Godbole, assistant general manager of General Insurance Corporation of India and ABM Nurul Haq,  consultant of Meghna Insurance, are also seen.  Photo:Star

Farzana Chowdhury, additional managing director of Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd in Bangladesh, addresses the concluding ceremony of the first Saarc Insurance Regulators Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka yesterday. Naba Gopal Banik, member of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Bangladesh, Deepak Godbole, assistant general manager of General Insurance Corporation of India and ABM Nurul Haq, consultant of Meghna Insurance, are also seen. Photo:Star

The Saarc Insurance Regulators’ Conference ended yesterday with a call to strengthen the bonds between the insurance companies and industry regulators in South Asian countries.
Insurance industries in this region are facing several challenges due to globalisation and an economic crisis, analysts said at the concluding session of the two-day conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
They stressed the need to establish a Saarc Insurance Regulators’ Committee for cooperation among the member countries and to help each other in insurance regulations, marketing, selling policy, underwriting and claims settlement.
Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), Bangladesh, in cooperation with Federation of State Organisations of Saarc Countries organised the conference under the theme ‘The Way Forward in the Wake of Global Reality’.
This is the first such conference of the insurance regulators of eight Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations.
Regulators or representatives of authorities from five Saarc countries — Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — attended the conference and delivered their speeches.
A total of 26 speakers discussed various regulatory issues and presented insurance trends in seven sessions, said Naba Gopal Banik, a member of the IDRA.
Nasir A Choudhury, managing director of Green Delta Insurance Company in Bangladesh, called upon the insurance companies of the Saarc countries to set up a resource pool among the companies for reinsurance purposes.
Insurance markets in the region face some unethical practices — undercutting pricing, charging inappropriate prices to commensurate risks, and a lack of protective measures, said Farzana Chowdhury, additional managing director of Green Delta Insurance.
They also stressed the need to establish a reinsurance company among the member countries that would cater to the needs of reinsurance/co-insurance of the insurance companies of the region.
There are 62 insurance companies operating in Bangladesh — 18 are life insurers and the rest are general companies.
The present government promulgated the Insurance Act 2010 by repealing Insurance Act 1938 and established the IDRA with full autonomy.
The second Saarc insurance regulators’ conference will be held in Pakistan in 2014, said the
organiser.