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Pandemic has mixed effects on Insurance Industry -IASL

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IASL President 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 LKR 100 billion threshold in 2020, and the first six months of 2021 saw a growth of 30%, which is a remarkable number despite the effects of the previous year. The import of motor vehicles had a detrimental effect on the General Insurance sector, which had negative growth of 1.3% towards GWP of LKR 99.5 billion in 2020. The first half of 2021 too recorded 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 become key. The Insurance Awareness month, therefore, becomes more crucial this year.”

Speaking on how the pandemic has affected the industry and the steps are taken to ease the burden of those affected as well as the government, Ahamed continued “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.

“In addition, rewarding and recognizing 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 1st September as a virtual event where the brightest and the best talent in the industry received awards for both 2019 and 2020, since we could not have this event last year.”

When asked his opinion on how insurance companies might successfully maintain customer interest, Iftikar Ahamed further added, “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.”

It is hoped that the message of insurance will be further disseminated following Insurance Month 2021 and that it will result in increased awareness and understanding among the people of Sri Lanka. A subject that can be embedded into the daily life of an individual from dawn to dusk, it is vital that the public can access their preferred insurance solution at the time, place, price and in the manner they want.

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