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Policy benefits farmers

Monika Singh
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

AT LEAST 43 sugarcane farmers have so far benefited from the bundled microinsurance policy that was launched by FijiCare Insurance Ltd last year.

The microinsurance scheme that protects 12,500 farmers was launched last year by FijiCare with the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP).

In a statement issued recently, FijiCare general insurance underwriter Sunita Reddy said their aim was to pay valid claims fast.

Ms Reddy said their figures showed that as time went by, more farmers were becoming familiar and more confident with insurance, which was evident from the increased number of claims that were being lodged.

"Of the 43 claims paid, 37 claims have been for funeral expenses and term life insurance and the remainder are for fire damage to buildings," she said.

"The term life insurance cases have covered many causes of death, ranging from heart attacks to accidents and the beneficiaries, that is, the people receiving the claims money, have been both male and female."

FijiCare's managing director Peter McPherson said it was important to look behind the headline claims numbers and to see how insurance had helped people in times of need.

"The claims that we have processed have helped families to repair and secure their damaged homes after a fire and our funeral claims payouts have also helped families to quickly pay for burial costs at a tragic, emotional time," he said.

Meanwhile, regional inclusive insurance specialist PFIP, Michael Carr, said part of the work that PFIP was doing with the insurance industry in the Pacific, was to help develop innovative insurance products and to build new value propositions so that more Pacific Islanders take up insurance.

"There are a number of ways of looking at microinsurance to see if it delivers value to customers. One approach is to look at things like the product cover and the values insured, and who is eligible to buy the insurance.

"Also, how easy it is to join an insurance scheme and to buy insurance, plus the cost, are important.

"Customer experience includes the way that claims are processed, and the general level of customer service given. PFIP is working with FijiCare to monitor claims and the payouts so that we can measure whether people understand the insurance product and are using it effectively," he said.

Meanwhile a series of awareness workshops are expected to be held for farmers to provide further information on coverage under the insurance scheme.

According to the statement FijiCare will work with the Sugar Cane Growers Fund and PFIP to hold more awareness sessions with the farmers as part of PFIP's continuing efforts to work with stakeholders to increase the penetration rate of insurance in Fiji and around the region.

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