The government will draft new insuretech policies to expand insurance coverage and encourage the customers, said Insurance Development & Regulatory Authority (IDRA) chairman Mohammad Jainul Bari.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a roundtable on "Role of insuretech in building smart Bangladesh.''
Bari said, “The government is committed to providing insurance services to a large number of people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made instructions in this regard.”
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organised the roundtable on Thursday.
“Insurance regulatory authorities will always play a supportive and proactive role in implementing any kind of new technology,” IDRA chief said.
He said steps need to be taken to create new insuretech policies in the country’s insurance sector.
Chairman of Banking and Insurance Department of Dhaka University Dr. Hasina Sheikh presented the keynote in the discussion. The roundtable discussion was moderated by Fida Haq, Co-Chairman of BASIS FinTech Standing Committee and Co-founder and CEO of Adorshoprani Sheba Limited.
In addition to the top officials of various insurance companies, the founders of 20 leading insuretech companies of the country were present at the event.
Fahim Mashroor, Co-founder and CEO of BDJobs and Chairman of BASIS FinTech Standing Committee, stressed that mainstream insurance companies and insuretech companies should work together to develop the country's insurance sector.
He highlighted the need to formulate policies to protect local insuretech companies from unfair competition with foreign companies for three to five years.
On behalf of BASIS, a draft Insuretech guideline was handed over to the IDRA chairman. The entrepreneurs of the insurance sector demanded the creation of separate policies and licensing guidelines for insurtech companies.
The speakers said some 50 insuretech companies already started working in the country to deliver insurance services digitally at the marginal level.
But since there is no government policy or regulation on insuretech, the required long-term investment in this sector is not happening, they said.
Currently only licensed insurance companies can offer insurance services, they added.
But new generation insuretech and fintech companies are playing an important role in bringing new technology-based innovative insurance services to the market-based on artificial intelligence (AI), IOT, data-science based in many countries around us, the discussion emphasised.
There has been a lot of venture capital investment in the insuretech sector in India, China, Indonesia and many other developing countries, the speakers said.
But due to the lack of separate legal recognition of insuretech companies in the country, there is not enough investment in this sector, they argued. Speakers further said that only less than 5 percent of the population in Bangladesh is covered by insurance services while in the neighboring countries this rate is above 20-30 percent, as technology-based insuretech companies are leading the way in creating the insurance market.