Unethical behaviour of Non-life insurers damaging credibility of Insurance Industry

Kathmandu:According to the Auditor General’s 58th Annual Report, the Government of Nepal has yet to pay Rs. 6.16 billion under Covid19 Insurance.

Non-life insurance companies have agreed in writing to pay Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 100,000 to the insured incase of Covid19 tests positive during PCR testing.

But now non-life insurers are reluctant to pay the amount as per the agreement as there are more claims received than the premium income.

Blunder in insurance plan:

According to experts in the insurance sector, although it is appropriate for the state to bring financial package for the relief of corona(Covid19) infected under the welfare program, it is a serious mistake to bring an epidemic insurance plan without assessing the financial risk.

Non-professinalism of non-life insurer:

Some non-life insurers had urged the Insurance Board to come up with an epidemic(Covid19) insurance plan in anticipation of a decent income as the number of infected people in Nepal was low at an early stage. It is wrong for non-life insurers to try to escape even the minimum professional liability now that a large number of claims have been made.

If non-life insurers, who are reluctant to pay due to non-payment by the government as per their commitment, would have distributed the profit to the state or the insured from the Covid19 insurance?

According to the report of the Auditor General, under the epidemic insurance program 2077 issued by the Insurance Board, a total number of 1,758,343 people purchased Corona insurance.  Out of the collection of Rs.1.55 billion insurance premiums, a claim of Rs.10.97 billion has been submitted from 114,633 insured.

The claim exceeded the premium earning by Rs.9.92 billion.Out of the total claims, Rs 6.16 billion is yet to be paid, according to the 58th Annual Report released by the Office of the Auditor General.

The affected insurers have been waiting for about a year to get the payment of Corona Insurance claim from the non-life insurance company.  But even when pointed out again and again, Non-life insurance companies are reluctant to pay the insured. Nowhere, in the contract between the insured and the non-life insurance company, it is mentioned whether the payment will be made only after the government pays the amount.

Poor Insurance Board:

Insurance Board, the regulatory body of the insurance sector, is also showing a passive character in this regard.

The Board, which has the responsibility to give priority to the interests of the insured, has not been able to take any fruitful initiative except writing to the Ministry of Finance.

The Board had to put pressure on the non-life insurer to pay the claim to the insured as per the previous agreement or bring the money to the Ministry of Finance through a strong initiative.

After the damage of the credibility of the insurance sector, will it be easy to achieve the goal of providing access to insurance to 33 percent of the population announced by the government?  Or the motive behind it?

Should the insured knock on the court’s door?

How long will the general public remain tense due to the non professional character of the non life insurers or the helplessness of the regulatory body? Should the insured file a petition before the Supreme Court against the non-life insurer and the Insurance Board in this regard?

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