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Call to train insurance agents

Monika Singh
Friday, December 01, 2017

THE Consumer Council of Fiji has welcomed the response from BSP Life and their acknowledgement of the fact that they sold insurance policies that matures when a person reaches 100 years.

Council CEO Premila Kumar said the response from BSP Life however, did not address the main issue that was highlighted by the council.

Ms Kumar said refunding the money to the complainant was not something to be appreciated and in fact it was their right to get a redress for a service/product which was sold in a deceptive manner where vital information were not disclosed upfront.

She said the group of municipal workers received their refunds because they lodged their complaint with the council but there may be other vulnerable consumers out there who have signed up for the same policy and were not aware that the life of the policy expired when they turned 100 years.

Ms Kumar said instead of educating the council, the insurance provider should invest their money in designing relevant products; educating insurance agents and disclosing information through a pre-disclosure statement.

She said a major problem was that the insurance agents do not themselves know the policies that they sold and they were renowned for not disclosing all the key aspects of insurance policies.

"It is worth noting that although premiums were refunded, the group had lost the interest if they were to save that money in the bank or invest it elsewhere.

"While the Bula Life policy offered by BSP Life has a key use for protection and income replacement for surviving family members, however, Malakai Naiyaga failed to explain that the Bula Life Policy sold to municipal workers would have matured when they reach 100 years to receive sum insured plus accumulated bonus.

"These workers were paying their premium for this product from 2014 where few will be retiring soon.

"For one municipal worker who is already 50 years old, her policy will mature in 2085 and she will be retiring in few years' time," said Ms Kumar.

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