Insurance policy buyers are not rich with information as insurance agents lacking in proper training fail to make their clients understand the necessity of insurance coverage, according to experts.
They said the customers are often being misguided, and so the image of insurance companies are being dented.
The experts suggest that insurance firms give the proper massage to the mass people to increase their penetration in the sector along with proper training of their agents. Besides, insurance claim payments have to be accelerated and hassle-free for policyholders.
The suggestions came at a seminar titled "Challenges and opportunities of the insurance sector in Bangladesh" organised by the daily Banijjo Protidin on Sunday.
Insurance business is on the rise, but it has failed to earn confidence in mass people, and bring them under insurance coverage, observed the speakers.
Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh (Idra) Chairman M Mosharrof Hossain was present at the programme as the chief guest while Professor Mizanur Rahman, chairman, Department of Marketing, Dhaka University, as a special guest.
Pragati Life Insurance Ltd Managing Director and CEO Md Jalalul Azim and Abdullah Al Mahmud, associate professor, Department of Banking and Insurance, University of Dhaka, were keynote speakers at the seminar.
Jalalul Azim said no initiatives have been taken by the insurance companies to make the mass people aware of the need and benefits of insurance.
A handful of advertisements fail to draw people's attention and there are no CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities in the sector, he added.
Jalalul Azim maintained that this sector is suffering from image crisis because of unethical practices by some rogue businesses.
Only 5% people have come under the coverage of life insurance so far, the lowest penetration rate (0.55%) in the world, but the sector has a huge prospect of growth, he observed.
In his address, Associate Professor Abdullah Al Mahmud said below 8% people are under insurance coverage due to image crisis.
Insurance companies delay claim payment and the clients face hassle, he said, suggesting that payment to customers must be done shortly to build trust.
Idra Chairman M Mosharrof Hossain said: "We are taking up confidence-building measures, and as part of it, we will also try to go online which will make everything transparent."
He, however, admitted that many policyholders were cheated earlier by the sector people.
Normally, insurance companies sell policies worth around Tk6,000 crore regarding the import and export of products per year, but their financial statements reflect around Tk3,000 crore, he said.
"We want to solve the gap by discussing the issue with the Bangladesh Bank," added Mosharrof.
President of Bangladesh Merchant Bankers' Association Md Sayadur Rahman said most insurance companies' paid-up capital stands at between Tk30-Tk40 crore.
It has to be increased to enhance capability, he suggested.
AKM Rashed Shahriar, editor of Banijjo Protidin, chaired the seminar while Md Kazim Uddin, managing director and CEO of National Life Insurance Co Ltd, and SM Ibarim Hossain, chief faculty Member of Bangladesh Insurance Academy, were the panel speakers.