Central bank to raise awareness on insurance

October 6, 2016

by Monika Singh

THE Reserve Bank of Fiji and members of the insurance sector have embarked on a mission to raise awareness and understanding of insurance in the country.

Speaking at the Fiji Media Association Insurance Awareness Workshop at the RBF yesterday, governor Barry Whiteside said the central bank tabled the insurance annual reports every year but despite the disclosures, it was a worry that the penetration and uptake of insurance by individuals in Fiji was very low.

Mr Whiteside said the annual insurance report contained very useful information about the overall performance and “health” of the insurance industry in Fiji.

“The annual process allows for public scrutiny and accountability of both the RBF as the regulator and supervisor of the insurance industry, and of the industry itself.

“According to the 2015 National Financial Services Demand Side Survey Report, just 12 per cent of our adult population has any type of insurance cover,” he said.

“As part of Fiji’s national financial inclusion strategy the Reserve Bank was working in partnership with the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme and members of the Insurance Council and the Inclusive Insurance Working Group (which is one of four working groups of our National Financial Inclusion Taskforce), to raise awareness and understanding of insurance.”

Mr Whiteside said the top three reasons reported by survey respondents for not buying insurance were:

  • They do not need it;
  • They do not know what it is, or how it works;
  • They find insurance too expensive.

“It is quite clear that the vast majority of our population is vulnerable to any form of catastrophe which may hit them or their family members at any time. Such catastrophes could include accidents, ill health, the sudden death of a breadwinner, and property damage or loss due to accidents, fire and natural disasters.”

He said the media could work with the RBF and the Insurance Council to raise awareness on the importance of having an insurance cover.

He said the media could demystify all (or at least most) of the negative perceptions about insurance and help the public to better understand how insurance worked as a critical risk mitigation tool.

Source: Fiji Times