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Government is preparing to table new laws in the National Assembly that will see tougher monitoring for insurance companies.The Insurance Bill 2016 was recently published in the Official Gazette and it is only a matter of time that it is laid in the National Assembly for debate.Government is about to lay before the National Assembly tough insurance laws that are designed to prevent a reply of the CLICO fiasco.According to the explanatory memorandum of the Bill, since the Bank of Guyana (BOG) assumed responsibilities for the non-bank financial sector, steps were taken to bring stronger regulatory framework and supervisory capacity.As a matter of fact, with support from the World Bank,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, a study was done on the insurance business in the country with full discussions with industry participants.It was found that the insurance sector is under-developed compared to its peers. The causes include low population and high inflation rate.Heavy competition was pushing down non-life premiums and to compound this was the loss of confidence from global businesses.The collapse of CLICO in Guyana and the region had not helped with domestic life insurance suffering as a result.Many persons were left without their life savings and there were accusations that the Bharrat Jagdeo administration facilitated payments to a few friends days before, knowing the CLICO was about to collapse.It was felt that the insurance industry needed some stricter monitoring. Guyana had lost more than US$30M that it had invested in CLICO, a company that had offices in several of the countries in the region, including Trinidad.In the city, insurance companies were balking at the risks of insurance some city properties.The study found that while insurers in Guyana were significantly over-capitalised, there was no immediate evidence that the industry was nearing collapse.The study found that the pension sector was still largely un-supervised, with resources needed to correct the situation.Not afford CLICO againWhile a basic regulatory and supervisory structure is in place and has been functioning relatively well in the last few years, the current law regulations and supervisory infrastructure would not be able to withstand another CLICO situation, it was explained.“For this reason, the insurance and pensions law needs to be significantly upgraded to reflect international developments over the last decade, and in particular to be made much more explicit regarding relevant prudential standards and the interventions powers of the bank,” the proposed laws says.On the other hand,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, any reforms need to reflect limited human and systems resources.Key changes include allowing for the move of the insurance supervisory function from the Ministry of Finance to the Bank of Guyana, the introduction of solvency rules,Cheap Jerseys Online, including corrective action triggers, updating governance requirements and in particular requiring key board committees.The reforms would see more frequent and intense certification of the assets covering policyholder and member related liabilities, authority to share information where appropriate, stronger fit and proper oversight of key individuals, winding up rules and processes that recognize policyholder priority.The proposed laws, while in keeping with international standards, have been modified to take account of the current local development of the insurance industry.One of the proposals is to establish an insurance body that will be funded by three percent of the premium value on insurance policies from insurers.In a reformed industry, Bank of Guyana will be required to prepare an annual report on the insurance market in Guyana with stats and date. This may even become of the annual report of the Bank of Guyana.The Governor of the Bank of Guyana (BOG) will also have powers to appoint an Appeal Board.According to the proposed legislations, there will be tough regulations and penalties to ensure that insurers and its executives do not provide false information,Cheap Hockey Jerseys, which can impact policyholders.With regards to corporate governance, each insurer shall have at least five directors of which at least two are independents. The Chairperson cannot be the General Manager or the Chief Executive Officer.Licensed Insurance AgentsThe proposed regulations will push for tougher monitoring for insurance agents and intermediaries to ensure that they comply and not engage in misconduct.While insurance companies will have to be the first responder in handling consumers’ complaints, the bill urges for a special officer to be designated to handle these. The insurers’ website must indicate where complaints can be made and to whom.Insurance companies will be given six weeks to investigate a complaint and resolve it or indicate to the consumer why it cannot be resolved.BOG can investigate the complaint and notify the insurer if the complaint is in favour or the consumer. However,Jerseys Cheap NFL, BOG cannot compel an insurer to pay a particular claim or amount as these are for the courts to decide.Prior to court action,Jerseys NFL Cheap, a consumer may apply for a claim payment to be heard by an Arbitration Board.The proposed reforms is also recommending the establishing of a Statutory Fund, in order to provide greater assurance that the insurance company technical provisions will be adequately covered by acceptable assets.It was further explained that the assets in the fund can only be used to discharge liabilities to policyholders, whether or not an insurer is in liquidation.BOG will have powers to step in if it believes that there are worrying risks and policy holders can lose.BOG will also have the power to appoint a Judicial Manager, if it is found that an insurance company has breached the Statutory Funds requirements, or the business is not conducted with sound insurance principles and practices.While the proposed laws speak of measures for the licensing of insurance agents, individuals brokers and corporate brokers, it was noted that the insurer has a duty to also oversee them.There are also proposals in place for what happens to monies collected for premiums by agents.For long term insurance, all cheques will have to be made in the name of the insurance company. If cash, these have to be sent to the company within five days.
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