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Brunei
Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Sunday, January 29, 2023
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    Need for digital relevance in insurance, takaful industry

    James Kon

    Managing Director of Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Badar yesterday outlined several areas where the insurance and takaful industry is keen to improve on. “In the digital age, new technologies present immense opportunities to revolutionise the delivery of insurance and takaful products and services more efficiently and cost-effectively benefitting the consumers.

    “It presents opportunities for inclusion to reach beyond the existing customer base through new distribution channels, and technology offers the industry opportunities for advancing data analytics for product innovation,” the managing director said.

    She said this during the Insurance and Takaful Day at Times Square Shopping Centre Atrium.

    “With over 400 registered agents serving the market and representing companies, raising the professional standards of insurance intermediaries and providing them with the right incentives will provide assurance and confidence.

    “There is an array of insurance and takaful products not only for travellers but for the general consumers, breadwinners, and individuals providing protection against financial risks and help them meet their financial goals, whether for education, retirement, or to pay for medical expenses.”

    “The industry should find ways to innovate towards enhancing the overall customers’ experience; and by delivering better value to policyholders,” she added.

    “As the underlying principle that insurance and takaful revolve around the promise and trust between insurers and the policyholders, simplifying the payout processes and making them transparent and timely will further help to improve this overall experience,” she added.

    Managing Director of Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Badar speaking at the event. PHOTO: JAMES KON

    “The insurance and takaful industry in the country plays a key role in the development of the economy and in supporting the social well-being.

    “There are seven insurance companies and four takaful operators registered by the BDCB.

    With a combined asset of BND1.8 billion, the industry has seen steady growth in premiums in the past 10 years at an average rate of five per cent.

    “Over 200 insurance and takaful protection and savings products have been registered and offered to the wider audience. BDCB, as the regulators and supervisors of the industry, has seen a good level of sound insurance risk management practices within the industry,” she added.

    The managing director also called on the industry to keep abreast of modern society’s changing behaviour and demands.

    “The growing demand for online services, the thirst for value-added products and services, and greater awareness for green finance are some prime examples. To date, nearly 250,000 policies issued in the country represent mandatory insurance, while voluntary insurance is still halfway behind. There is still much to do to raise awareness of the value of protection. As the saying goes, ‘better safe than sorry’ or ‘better protected than not’ in the insurance context.

    “It is essential that we continue to keep the interests of consumers at the heart of it all. For that reason, we need to continue to find creative solutions that help to improve the overall participation,” she added.

    “We have emerged out from the pandemic being more prepared and with a better understanding of insurance and takaful as a source of protection. For example, driven by the imposition of travel insurance, there is a greater acceptance that having such protection helps to compensate against unfortunate travel hiccups, such as last-minute trip cancellations and hospitalisation. We are hopeful that everyone continues to recognise the importance and benefits that insurance and takaful protections can bring to an individual and their family,” she said.

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