| James Kon |
BRUNEI yesterday called on the Asean Insurance Regulators (AIR) and Asean Insurance Council (AIC) to play a vital role in addressing two issues – the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) programme and insurance penetration – in the coming years.
This call was made at the opening of the 17thAIR Meeting and 40th AIC Meeting which was officiated by Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) Acting Deputy Managing Director Haji Adi Marhain bin Haji Leman.
Touching on the area of Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance programme, he said, “The new millennium has witnessed a few natural disasters that have impacted the economy, especially evident by the closing down of SMEs – which resulted in increased unemployment. Similar events have impacted the insurance industry as source of fund for recovery.
“It is timely that we are developing the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance programme to increase the financial resilience of Asean countries to natural disasters, to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of member states to understand and implement cost-effective disaster risk financing and insurance strategies, to mitigate the risks and potential impacts of losses from such disasters and to promote regional cooperation on DRFI,” he said.
With regard to insurance penetration, he said, “Many Asean insurance markets are still underdeveloped on both the demand and supply side resulting in low insurance penetration rates.”
“Member states must work closely with the respective industry players to take further initiatives and approaches to develop their domestic insurance markets through a financial literacy programme and to foster inclusive insurance arrangements – including micro insurance,” he said.
On the supply side, he highlighted, the Asean School of Young Insurance Managers event that has been taking place over the past few days focuses capacity-building of the key persons in insurance.
While on the demand side, “the insurance players should raise awareness against key risks to all stakeholders on unforeseen circumstances, possible solutions and insurance protections.”
He noted that initiative to strengthen cooperation with relevant organisations such as Asean Insurance Training and Research Institute (AITRI) and Asian Development Bank should be carried out.
Held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, this is the third time Brunei has hosted such meetings. They are hosted on an annual rotation basis by Asean member states.
Other related meetings are also being held including joint meetings between regulators, the council as well as Council of Bureau, Asean Natural Disaster Research Work Sharing and Asean Insurance Education Committee.
The 17th AIRM and 40th AIC meetings are attended by some 50 regulators and 100 Asean Insurance Council representatives respectively.