Bahrain: A YEAR-LONG initiative aimed at raising public awareness and shedding light on the significant role insurance plays in safeguarding peoples’ lives has been launched.
The Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA) announced the Insurance Awareness Campaign at a Press conference at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) headquarters yesterday.
The drive, involving an extensive calendar of creative events, targets different segments of society, said BIA chairman Yahya Nooruddin.
It includes school visits, as well as sharing educational facts through social media influencers, newspapers, magazines and radio and TV shows.
A story book featuring the BIA brand ambassador ‘Amna’ to illustrate the companies’ services will also be published.
The campaign also includes designing a series of coffee cups with facts and figures, such as the number of traffic accidents per day and the number of insurance claims.
Among activities will be a ladies tea event featuring three powerful case studies of people who greatly benefited from insurance.
“Insurance is here to protect people and this is the main purpose of the campaign. Traditionally, in many households, insurance is an after-thought,” said Mr Nooruddin.
“What we are aiming to achieve is to make it a priority through education and by spreading awareness across all age groups, from young to old, through engagement.”
Insurance companies lose a whopping 85 per cent of what they get from clients for vehicle accidents services, according to figures.
In 2014, BD61,685,000 out of a gross premium of BD72,246,000 was used to cover repairs and damages caused by accidents.
Last year, a ‘Hit and Run’ fund was set up by the BIA.
It allocates one pc of premiums to compensate victims of hit-and-run accidents and other motor-related cases.
“Insurance should be an extension of peoples’ lives specially when seeing the positive contributions in annual claim pay-outs, social responsibility programmes such as the Hit and Run fund as well as through sponsorships and donations to charities, societies and causes,” said Mr Nooruddin.
According to the 2014 statistics, people paid BD56,878,000 for long-term care insurance, out of which BD37,415,000 were paid in benefits.
Of BD48,595,000 paid for medical insurance, BD32,143,000 is used up for damages, which accounts for 66pc. To make more profits, companies are offering upgraded services, specially for motor services.
“People look at us as if we are taking all of their money when, in fact, companies are losing,” said Mr Nooruddin.
“Therefore, insurance companies are now offering upgraded services with additional benefits.
“These services cost more but provide people with much more compared with regular services.
“For example, most companies now offer a five-year repair at the dealer’s garage, which upgrades the common three-year one.
“This means that, in case of any accidents happening within five years of purchasing the vehicle, the owner can take it to the dealership to be fixed, but once that period has passed, clients have to take it to a garage of their choice.
“This service is actually better for clients and, the idea of helping people understand what is offered and what is best for them, has driven us to organise this campaign.”
Insurance types mostly used by corporates include fire, property and liability which recorded BD49,743,000 gross premium in 2014, of which BD26,922,000 were gross claims.
Engineering insurance gross premium was BD19,274,000 and claim was BD15,542.
The premium for marine and aviation was BD7,985,000 and claim was BD620,000.
Speaking at the Press conference was a`lso CBB financial institution supervision executive director Abdul Rahman Al Baker and BIA board member Sameer Al Wazzan.
The campaign, involving Bahrain’s 38 insurance companies, is the first by the BIA to take place throughout the year in comparison with the last four which were held over a week.