In Pakistan, ‘The insurance game will change in the next three years’
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
An interview with Mohammed Asif, Commissioner Insurance Mohammed Asif Arif Commissioner (Insurance)
BR Research: What has the progress been so far with the reform committee’s suggestions and what is the situation on ground?
Mohammed Asif: Basically, there is a roadmap for the insurance industry. The industry, regulators and all the stakeholders should know where we are headed to.We have to set goals, identify problems and find out possible solutions. It is not mandatory that whatever is there in the report, the solutions would be purely based on it. Those are just the guidelines for likely solutions.It would at least act as an eye-opener.
The industry has to discuss it and come up with a specific roadmap. We will be having roundtables for discussion. For example, there is a suggestion to make changes in Rule35 of the SEC (Insurance) Rules, 2002. We have drafted a regulation and are in discussion with the industry and hopefully in a month or two, we will be issuing the amended regulations.
Simultaneously, we have a project financed by the FIRST Initiative and managed by the World Bank, under which we are reviewing the complete insurance law, for which we have local consultants and we will soon appoint a foreign consultant as well. The reason for this complete review is that the law was formulated in 2000, perhaps in haste, thus missing out many important areas.
Some key areas are still missing from the existing law. For example, it appears relatively weaker on consumer protection, especially, not allowing the SECP to intervene in claims.Furthermore, the concept of insurance tribunal is there but there are question marks on its funding, infrastructure provision, technical capacity and so on. Therefore, those powers have been delegated to session judges, for whom usually it is not a priority and cases remain unattended.