23 May 2024

Insurance sector facing confidence crisis: Badrul Munir

Mazharul Islam Mitchel

Published: 22:10, 9 May 2024

Update: 22:11, 9 May 2024

Insurance sector facing confidence crisis: Badrul Munir

To develop the insurance industry, it is imperative to increase its contribution to the country’s overall economy by increasing public awareness about insurance.

Bangladesh Economic Association Joint Secretary and Central Insurance Company Ltd Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Badrul Munir feels that these objectives have not been very successful.

In an interview with the Business Eye, he said: “people are neither overly aware, nor interested in doing insurance. I think we still have a lot of work to do here.”

The insurance sector’s contribution to the development of the overall economy is 5%.  It is clear that if the country’s insurance sector is developed, it can expand the economy. But it was supposed to be more, Badrul also said.

Asked about the main reason for this, he said: “Some insurance companies have gone bankrupt. As a result, there is a trust crisis among customers. There are also some other issues among bureaucrats about support for this sector. That means, the lack of goodwill in the insurance sector has not been eliminated.”

Acknowledging bureaucratic hurdles or lack of support he said: “In any country of the world, no vehicle can ply on the road without insurance. But Bangladesh allows the insurance as optional for some vehicles including motorcycle.”

The DMD Badrul said the country’s insurance companies continue to suffer as they are yet to gain the trust of the people even after 53 years of independence.

Many individuals have turned away from insurance due to delays in receiving their dues even after the policy expires, despite a significant increase in the number of insurance companies over the last two decades, he said.

Badrul said, complaints from policyholders against insurance companies have persisted for a long time, with most companies failing to pay dues or insurance claims on time. As a result, ordinary customers have endured years of waiting to receive their insurance money. Moreover, corruption and irregularities within insurance companies, along with the rise in fraudulent insurances, are contributing to an all-time low in trust.

Those involved in the insurance sector believe that these issues are unlikely to be quickly resolved, prolonging the crisis of trust. Resolving these issues could pave the way for the next decade to be deemed the ‘Insurance Decade.’

This expert said, “The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) needs to enforce stricter regulations to restore confidence in the insurance sector. However, the problem lies in the authority's inability to enforce these regulations effectively. Nevertheless, there are signs of improvement, and the negative image is gradually diminishing.”

Badrul Munir also head of the Development Division and Chief Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer of the company.

He obtained his BSS (Honors), and MSS degree in Economics from the University of Dhaka.

He started his career with the Federal Insurance Company Limited in 1988 after completing his post-graduate studies.

Munir is former President of the Bangladesh Young Economist Association.

He is also performing important responsibilities in many other social organizations including Lions Club International.

He attended various national and international training courses, seminars and workshops.