Bid to increase insurance takeup

A PERCEPTION that insurance is only for the wealthy has changed because it can now be afforded by someone who works in an informal sector.

A life insurance company has been inspired by Tropical Cyclone Winston to introduce a product for the low-income level bracket in the country.

When TC Winston took the lives of 44 Fijians, Life Insurance of India (LICI) found that none of them were insured.

This, according to LICI general manager Sanjay Dayal, is what triggered them to focus on the low income group of people in the country.

For example, these are for employees that do not have consistent earnings.

The product is called MicroInsurance.

MicroInsurance looks to aid low-income households by offering insurance plans tailored to their needs and provide protection to individuals who have little savings.

Because the coverage value is lower than a usual insurance plan, the insured people pay considerably smaller premiums.

“First of all, we train our agent because they need to go to rural areas. They cannot come to our offices to procure these policies. We also needed to create awareness among these people because they are not much educated,” Mr Dayal said at the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economic Affairs hearing.

“There are various types of policies and some with very low premiums also. The focus is because they could not afford a very high premium policy.

“Similarly, RBF has also come up with a bundled product and we have also contacted our head office. If they approve it, the premium will be very less and will be $9 and group cover of $3000 per head. It will be an employer-based scheme. We are waiting for the head office and we will go ahead with the policy.

“The awareness is not there and this is why only 12 per cent are insured. We will have to go a long way.”

LICI Fiji Operation Fiji Finance, Investment and Human Resource manager Anand Gurpreet Kaur said that although many people have aware, but they were not really interested. For that, people don’t know the importance of insurance.

“We are trying to make the agents aware. There were 44 people died but not a single people are insured. Our agents are going to Koro Island to make the people understand. Savings should come into the mind of people,” she said.

LICI has 14 products for low income, medium and high income group level.

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