Insurance should be declared essential service: FPCCI Masses, businesses deserve better insurance cover amid crisis

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STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD FPCCI Central Standing Committee on Insurance on Saturday lauded the economic packages, incentives and other steps taken by the government to tackle the pandemic. It said that the insurance industry is integral part of the financial system which should be allowed to operate to provide cover to the vital economic areas during the crisis. Convener of the committee Dr. Murtaza Mughal said in a statement that masses and the business community has been facing heavy losses due to the outbreak which deserve proper insurance cover. He said that banks are also facing issues in the absence of insurance services which helps them to remain compliant with their legal and regulatory obligations. He noted that Pakistan Stock Exchange, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange, the Central Depository Company, the National Clearing Company of Pakistan etc. have been allowed to operate therefore insurance sector should also be permitted so that it can lend help people during this crisis. He said that the insurance sector should also be declared as an essential service to work with the minimum required staff and discourage visitors which will minimise the loss of businesses and jobs during these tough times. The authorities should direct the insurance industry to launch new products to cover business losses due to pandemic and lockdown as standard policies did not include forced closure by the government. Dr. Mughal said that all the insurance companies providing life and health cover should be directed to launch new products covering pandemic. He informed that some companies do cover infectious disease but Covid-19 was never included on the list of diseases covered by this insurance industry. The government should stop some institutions from taking advantage of the crisis and immediately announce interest-free corona loans for small businesses who have to pay rent, salaries and bills at a time when there is no income due to the interruption. The business community should make significant adjustments to their business model in light of the new competitive landscape and changing consumer behaviour to remain competitive, he said.