Brunei’s insurance industry has seen significant growth since the last decade, with statistics indicating that more people are now aware of the importance of getting protection against any unprecedented accidents.
Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam’s (AMBD’s) Managing Director Hajah Rokiah Haji Badar recently shared several statistics that demonstrated how well the sultanate’s insurance sector has grown.
Within the last 10 years, Brunei has recorded an increase of 60 percent gross premiums to $294.0 million. The number of life policies have also increased by 133 percent, with the amount assured now standing at $6.3 billion.
Premiums for property businesses, on the other hand, have increased by 52 percent to $23.3 million over last five years. During the same period, the industry paid out $16.8 million to businesses and households that experienced losses due to fire, flood, burglary and others.
Endowment policies, in particular, continue to be popular with a tri-fold increase over the last five years – indicating that both conventional insurance and takaful (Islamic insurance) are being seen as a viable option for savings.
“The mentioned figures are a testament to the support offered by insurance and takaful in protecting the people, cushioning them against what would otherwise be severe consequences from tragedies and accidents,” Hjh Rokiah said at the Insurance and Takaful Day 2019 celebration.
“I firmly believe that insurance and takaful can still expand and develop protection to a larger audience,” she added.
The Managing Director also highlighted the importance of transparency and awareness when pushing for any insurance policies out to the public.
“A portion of our society has yet to fully grasp the nuances of insurance and takaful. We often hear misconceptions regarding the fundamentals of the products including reasons for charging them annually when no claims have been made,” she said.
AMBD, said Hjh Rokiah, has been consulting various stakeholders within the industry on increasing transparency and disclosure when marketing products and services – resulting in the issuance of Guidelines on Product Transparency and Disclosure.
These guidelines were developed to ensure that the industry conveys their products and services in a more relatable manner. When information is made readily available, consumers become better informed, as well as better protected.
Hjh Rokiah also said that AMBD is also aware of insurance stakeholders investing money, time and resources to broadening their reach to customers through website and mobile applications.
“To further support this goal, AMBD has consulted the industry on the parametres that will act as guidance for the online distribution of insurance and takaful products and services,” she said.
“It is hoped that as consumers’ understanding and experience improve, take-up of insurance and takaful can increase and in turn reduce pressure on household budgets,” she added.
The Managing Director also highlighted the importance of sustainability for the industry, which had also been impacting the financial sector globally.
“Living in a world with finite resources, growing empirical evidence mounts towards the need for a sustainable way of living,” she said.
“As consumers demand for sustainable products and services increases, the demand for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures by companies also increase and the financial sector is not exempt from this,”
“In fact, ESG underpins The United Nations’ (UN) Environment Programme ‘Principles of Sustainable Insurance’ set forth in 2012,” she added.
“In this context, Sustainable Insurance is a strategic approach where all activities in the insurance value chain are done in a responsible and forward-looking way, considering risks associated with ESG issues,”
“Therefore, AMBD is ensuring that we stay informed of the developments of sustainability in the financial sector, and urges the industry to continually consider sustainability and environmental impacts in their strategic business approach,” the Managing Director said.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN