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Monday, January 18, 2021 10:03:12 PM
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Insurance Personnel Good Luck For Good Initiative

Mir Nazim Uddin Ahmed

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The distribution of awards to the officers and employees of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) on the basis of integrity policy in the financial year 2019-2020 has moved our minds. The authorities want us to be clean, but no matter how hard the non-life insurance workers try to stay clean, for some reason or another, we can't.
Insurance is a universally accepted subject. The government has approved life and non-life insurance companies to provide security to people at all levels and their assets. In the current Corona pandemic, only the non-life insurance companies have been able to pay salary bonuses to all their employees, which is our biggest achievement. This is due to the relentless efforts of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Circular No. 64 and 75 and the President of the Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA), Sheikh Kabir Hossain and all the members of the Association Committee, especially the "Gentleman's Agreement" on "No one can takeover other's business". And the best efforts of the Complaints Hearing Committee have given us some leeway. As a result, many non-life insurance companies are returning to normalcy.
Bangladesh Insurance Association has been working on this issue since July 2019 after the issuance of Circular No. 64. Yet the insurance market is always faltering. Insurance workers in third generation companies are paid on the basis of their premium collection. So their pain and the pain of the insurance workers of the 1st or 2nd generation insurance company will never be the same. All the companies are contributing to the revenue of the government from its premium income. Therefore, it is very important to give salary allowance to the insurance workers on the basis of premium income of the company.
IDRA and BIA have been working since 2012 to create a balanced organizational structure for all insurance companies. But even then, the BIA requested the IDRA on November 5, 2020 to create a balanced organizational structure with various recommendations. We who work in non-life insurance also want it to be implemented. Create an identity basis for equality of all insurance workers working in all insurance companies. Let their rank be determined on the basis of their long experience and educational qualifications.
The BIA has made a recommendation to the IDRA authorities to fix the commission rate according to the level of premium collected in business procurement, which is not practical. It is not reasonable to charge a commission based on the scope of the business premium. If necessary, the commission rate can be rescheduled with due respect to the law or the process that needs to be stopped completely can be adopted, if all parties agree on the matter.
All officers and employees from the Bangladesh Insurance Association have been asked to obtain an agent's license. However, IDRA's Circular No. 75 mentions that all development officers have agent licenses only for business purposes. Which one will we follow now?
An individual will be an officer on the one hand and an agent on the other. This dual entity will deem an officer eligible to receive salary and agent commission for business. The word agent sounds like broker. In a discussion with the Finance Minister at Agargaon, the minister suggested that instead of the agent it would be preferable to refer them as "Bima Karmi" or Insurance Personnel. In the case of non-life insurance, I urge all parties to consider whether the term "insurance worker" can be used instead of agent.
Each insurance company has an internal audit department and the company is audited by an external auditor every year. The company issues millions of documents every year. Sometimes it is not possible to control all the misdeeds from the head office due to lack of proper supervision or due to some unscrupulous employees. If the IDRA Surveillance Team continues its activities in all the companies, big and small, it is hoped that the perpetrators will be alerted and everyone working in the insurance company will be aware of.
On February 10, 2020, after the first issuance of Circular 75, due to our misunderstanding, the money of the agent commission went to the market. The IDRA later warned in a circular in the newspaper that it would not be implemented, but circular 78 dated August 26, 2020 warned that "the commission is only for the insurance agent but not for someone else." It does not apply to the insured or anyone else". Therefore, recruitment of agents in all insurance companies, training activities are in full swing at present.
Rather than taking 72 hours of training from a training institution, it is time for the IDRA authorities to consider whether those working for the insurance company can be recognized as their agents directly or on the basis of a certificate issued by the CEO of the company. The BIA authorities have also expressed their views on the matter to the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority. The IDRA authorities have already collected detailed information from agents, development officers and desk officers which will play a new role in improving the quality of agents, insurance workers.
Planning for any task is a huge challenge. Circular No. 64 will be the milestone in non-life insurance issued on July 2, 2019 issued by the IDRA authorities. Guidelines for depositing money as premium through three bank accounts and keeping separate bank accounts for completion of all management expenses of the company through one account, capital saving, repayment of claims, reinsurance etc. and later through 04 July 2019, Circular No. 65. The guideline of separate account management for VAT and tax payment is able to solve 50 per cent of the problems of the insurance sector in a real way. Nowadays the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority can scan the accounts of all insurance companies which will be more helpful in eliminating all irregularities.
As long as you feel pain you're still alive, as long as you make mistakes you are still human, and as long as you keep trying there's still hope.

(Mir Nazim Uddin Ahmed is Managing Director and CEO, Islami Commercial Insurance Co. Ltd).

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