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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 105

Lack of awareness prevents insurance benefits

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 15 October, ( Though there is commendable improvement in the insurance industry in Sri Lanka with several insurance companies competing, due to the lack of awareness of insurance and its benefits it has made a direct impact on economic recovery said Ms Naoko Ishi, Country Director, World Bank while addressing the Inauguration of the National Insurance Congress 2007 at Water’s Edge Hotel, Battaramulla last week.

She pointed out that there is tremendous opportunity to improve the insurance industry in Sri Lanka in such areas like aging sector and said that the insurance contribution was only 1.5 percent of the GDP.

Ishi’s stress on awareness was that there is limited knowledge of insurance products on offer and distrust between people and insurance companies. She has observed that due to the free healthcare and the assistance of the extended family system on the decline many are becoming aware of the need for life insurance to supplement pension funds.

She mooted the idea of introducing a ‘code of conduct’ for the insurance industry in a bid to increase the trust among the people on insurance and also appreciated the introduction of a ranking system for the industry which would enable a better regulatory effect and accountability.

She said that insurance in some form or other has been benefiting people since the Babylonian, Roman and Greek civilizations, especially in shipping and even in funerals.

To overcome the constraints of lack of resources to operationalize risk based methods She advised to seek international services. She referred to a World Bank report that detailed how economic progress can be measured by the level of insurance investment and how the industry expands with economic growth.

Ms Nimmi Guneratne, President, Sri Lanka Insurance Institute made the welcome address and said that at bad times, insurance people are the only people who come to the rescue at the distress.

- Asian Tribune -

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