The insurance sector in Bangladesh receives good policy support from the government, according to Mr MetLife Bangladesh General Manager Syed Hammadul Karim. He cited insurance laws -- such as Insurance Act 2010 and Insurance Policy 2014 -- and the activities of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) as very positive for the business.
“If the authorities continue these activities, then the industry will be developed more in in future,” he said in an interview with Dhaka Tribune.
Nevertheless, there are challenges which need to be tackled.
He said, “The insurance regulatory environment is not up to our expectations. Neighbouring countries are more developed in this area than us. If we can overcome these, then the number of customers will increase in this sector.”
Mr Karim said that the major challenges in Bangladesh are a lack of insurance awareness, a lack of skilled manpower, and inadequate resources for insurance. Insurance penetration is very low, with the contribution of life insurance to GDP below 0.5%.
He said, “Infrastructure is another problem because we depend on infrastructure to deliver services. We would like to get our services to remote areas but the communication systems are poor. If there are no banks, no courier services or postal offices, then how can we sell policies?”
New York-headquartered MetLife has been in Bangladesh since 1952 and employs 16,000 people to serve its one million customers in the country.
MetLife Bangladesh is the largest life insurer in the country and has been the market leader since 1997.