In addition to English, the insurance policy must be done in Bengali
Almost all insurance companies in the country have insurance policies in English language. Insurance policies are sold to highly educated, poorly educated, and even uneducated people.
But there are many conditions in the policy, which is not possible for customers to understand just because it is in English language. Due to lack of understanding, they face problems in getting the policy money at the end of the term. The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) has focused on eliminating this problem.
Last Sunday, IDRA sent a letter to all life and non-life insurance companies of the country and said that the insurance policy should be made in Bengali as well as in English. Companies have been asked to prepare for this.
BM Yusuf Ali, president of Bangladesh Insurance Forum (BIF), an association of chief executive officers (CEOs) of insurance companies, and CEO of Popular Life Insurance Company welcomed the initiative of IDRA. He told Prothom Alo on the phone last night, “Many people cannot understand all the conditions of the policy and the language of other documents due to English. If Bengali is available along with English, the entire insurance sector will benefit.
According to the letter, during the hearings related to settlement of insurance claims, IDRA observed that the customers are not able to submit the conditions and other necessary documents to the company while opening the insurance policy. Due to this, complications arise in the settlement of insurance claims. Customers are suffering from this. Aggrieved consumers are also spreading negative messages about insurance.
The letter mentioned that the insurance policy should be simple and understandable in Bengali language. It is said that most insurance customers do not understand their availability and applicable terms and conditions as insurance companies’ policies are entirely in English. Because of that, others are also losing interest in taking insurance services. In this the desired growth of the insurance sector is not happening.
The letter also urged the insurer to provide the list of documents required to settle the claim while making the policy. It is said that necessary measures should be taken to introduce it in Bengali language along with English language.
IDRA’s Executive Director and Spokesperson SM Shakeel Akhtar told Prothom Alo, ‘Companies are selling insurance policies in forms made in English to illiterate people. We have sent a letter and said, this cannot continue. All have been asked to draft a policy in Bengal and report it to IDRA. Later it will be finalized by meeting with the stakeholders.
In the insurance sector, there are two government agencies in the country namely General Bima Corporation and Life Bima Corporation. There are two foreign life insurance companies—US-based MetLife and Life Insurance Company of India (LIC). Apart from this there are 32 private life insurance companies and 46 general insurance (non-life) companies.