Insurance plays an important role in a country’s economy. It forms an integral part of the financial sector.
In countries around the world especially in the West insurance makes a respectable contribution to GDP. But sadly for Bangladesh it makes a negligible or insignificant contribution to GDP.
Bangladesh’s economy is growing steadily. But insurance still remains a neglected area. While other South Asian countries including SAARC countries are marching forward, Bangladesh appears to be stuck with basic problems even after 50 years of its independence.
Unlike other businesses, insurance business is highly technical in nature. It requires a professionally qualified and competent workforce to run and manage this business successfully.
While these factors are recognized and understood in other countries, Bangladesh seems to be lagging far behind on all counts.
Given the current state of dismal condition, it has become absolutely necessary to take a different approach to the present one. The Bangladesh insurance sector needs a shot in the arm. It needs to revamp itself to meet the demand of the present day time and that of customers.
This poor show of the insurance sector cannot not continue as it is forever. It has to change.
There is no point in sticking to old thinking and ideas. Times are changing and changing fast..Bangladesh insurance sector needs to wake up from its slumber. .
There are a lot of reforms and changes needed to bring the ailing insurance sector back to life.
The million dollar question is if the SAARC countries can run the show in a fairly reasonable manner, why is the Bangladesh insurance sector faring poorly?
A lot of introspection is needed by all concerned to find out where things are going wrong. The concerned authorities should be able to come up with various remedial measures which are able to bring substantial changes and improvement to the present unhealthy condition. There is no magic to it.
Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) is partly to be blamed for the present abysmal condition of the insurance sector.
Lack of effective management, strong monitoring system, competent workforce etc. have all contributed to the present sorry state of affairs.
The concerned ministry should seriously look into the matter and take effective remedial measures for the revival of the sector. It is believed that unless corrective measures are taken, It may not be possible to pull the insurance sector out of the woods.
It is like going round and round without finding any solution to the problems.
It needs constructive and innovative ideas. Ordinary and traditional thinking may not be enough.
The Bangladesh insurance sector should move quickly to adopt digital technology i.e. the use of IT services to make things faster and easier. It will certainly save time and trouble involved in manual work.
It should make the best use of the funds provided by the World Bank to bring digitalization to the insurance sector. Ideally all insurances and customer services should be brought online to make life easier for all concerned.
If there is a lack of expertise in any area, it will be prudent to find out what is happening in SAARC countries and look for solutions.
But it is not desirable to stick to the way it is going presently.
No amount of words or rhetoric is to change the present scenario unless there is a serious commitment and desire on the part of the concerned authority and stakeholders to bring meaningful changes for the betterment of the sector.
Mr. Haque was brought up and educated in Dhaka. He obtained his master’s degree with honours in Biochemistry from University of Dhaka (DU). He spent nearly four decades in Dubai (UAE) working for several multinational insurance companies in various capacities. He obtained his Fellowship (FCII) from The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), London, Associateship (AIRM) from The Institute of Risk Management (IRM), London, Associateship (ACIArb) from The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), London. He has authored several books on insurance which have been acclaimed both at home and abroad. He contributes regularly on insurance matters in various online insurance news portals and is a founder General Secretary of Bangladesh Insurance Professionals Society (BIPS). Presently Mr. Haque is serving as the Director of Sadharan Bima Corporation, Dhaka.