Speakers at the 21st Association of Insurers and Reinsurers of Developing Countries (AIRDC) conference being held in Kathmandu called for greater cooperation and sharing of experience in disaster risk financing and insurance between AIRDC members.
Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, the finance minister of Nepal, speaking at the opening of the conference, said that the 2015 earthquake in Nepal resulted in the market developing a sound, safer and wider financial network to deal with disaster risk. “Building financial resilience remains relevant for Nepal, as the earthquake caused massive destruction and loss of life, most of which were not covered by insurance,” he said. He highlighted that the government of Nepal has given priority to widening and deepening the insurance industry to safeguard the financial health of both individuals and corporates.
Creating insurance awareness
AIRDC president, Mr Yassir Albaharna, spoke of the need to promote risk management in building financial resilience among member AIRDC countries.
“Natural disasters are common in developing countries and the importance of insurance as a means of disaster risk financing needs to be promoted by governments,” he said.
Mr Chiranjibi Chapagain, chairman of Nepal's Beema Samiti (Insurance Board) in his address spoke of the need to create awareness of the benefits of insurance in disaster risk financing. “Virtually every country is exposed to natural disasters of one kind or the other and we also need to bring into perspective human factors like insurgencies and hostilities that also result in loss of life and affects economic growth,” he said.
Mr Dip Prakash Panday, president of the Nepal Insurers’ Association, said that the Nepali market is prone to an array of natural disasters including floods and earthquakes. “The industry needs to get more proactive in managing risks linked to natural disasters,” he said.
The three-day event, which ends today, is being attended by over 500 delegates from 20 countries.