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Insurance Council Reviews Processes For Cyclone Certification

Concerns raised that only a small percentage of our population have a form of insurance cover The Insurance Council of Fiji is looking at reviewing the current processes required to
06 Oct 2016 14:50
Insurance Council Reviews Processes For Cyclone Certification

Concerns raised that only a small percentage of our population have a form of insurance cover

The Insurance Council of Fiji is looking at reviewing the current processes required to get cyclone certification for Fijians.

The newly-appointed chairperson of the Insurance Council of Fiji, Sera Jane Wild, has highlighted this. She has been in the insurance industry for 20 years.

Ms Wild is the chief executive of Tower Insurance and was appointed on September 16 taking over the position from BSP country manager Fiji, Kevin McCarthy.

She feels there are a lot of issues which have come about, especially post Tropical Cyclone Winston, and the insurers need to work more together.

Ms Wild confirmed one of the first things which was decided after her appointment was the need for the council to meet on a more regular basis.

“It is very much about changing perception of how people feel about insurance and trying to create a lot more awareness and trying to educate people,” she said.

“This is so that they are covered in events they need to be covered for and particularly around the major situations such as if their house gets damaged or car gets damaged.”

As an example, Ms Wild said Tower Insurance had 22,000 houses insured when Cyclone Winston struck however, only 500 claims were made.

“When you think about how devastating that event was, 500 sounds pretty insignificant,” she said.

“But there is a couple of reasons for that and one of the unfortunate reason was a lot of our customers who had house insurance did not have cyclone insurance extension.

“And then on the other side, the ones who did have claims, the claims were not as major as the devastation which was experienced in broader Fiji.

“This was because we have en engineering certification process which allows you to get a cyclone cover.

“What we found, the structures which followed the process had meant they withstood the cyclone better.”

 

Insurance spread

Ms Wild has raised concerns that only a small percentage of our population have a form of insurance cover.

She revealed that currently, only 12 per cent of our population have some form of insurance and this should be a real concern.

“So when we consider that, only 12 per cent have a form of insurance whether it be life insurance, health or it is not combined. So there is a lot of opportunity,” she said.

“As an international benchmark, it is very low. I can comment on some of the areas in New Zealand.

“Just for house insurance, 98 per cent of the property owners would be insured. It’s very minimal in Fiji.

“Therefore, it is evident we need to find more ways to provide more products to people.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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