THE Consumer Council of Fiji has called on insurance companies in Fiji to step up if they are to play an important role in Fiji’s economy.
“Low-income consumers very often do not have social or financial protection to withstand risks that can worsen their financial situation.
“It would be ideal to have every business and every homeowner obtain insurance cover to protect their properties or businesses against losses which they cannot foresee.
“But that is not the case,” Council CEO Premila Kumar said during a Property Insurance Seminar at Novotel in Lami yesterday.
Ms Kumar further questioned why Fijians had to rely on the Government or their Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) money for assistance to rebuild their lives after the destruction caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.
“Is it because they (consumers) don’t have confidence in the insurance sector or they don’t understand the importance of insurance or they can’t find insurance products made for their needs?” she asked.
“At the outset, I wish to say that the insurance industry plays an important role in our economy.
“It provides the financial security against possible risks that could cost the country, business or individuals thousands or even millions of dollars.
“I am sure we all like to see a flourishing insurance industry and this can happen with reforms.
“We need the industry to become more accessible to the consumers.
“We are calling for more accountability and more robust monitoring from the regulator (RBF), which has been lacking.
“We would like to see a range of property insurance products in the market that gives wider choice to consumers and one that suits the needs of our people,” she said.
This article first appeared in The Fiji Times on August 12, 2016.