President for provision of insurance coverage to victims of manmade and natural calamities

PESHAWAR: President Dr Arif Alvi has stressed the need for launching insurance products at national level and wherever possible by looping in international insurance system for crop insurance and flood insurance to protect the farmers from crop losses and safeguard the livelihood and property losses of the victims during manmade or natural calamities.

He said increased confidence of the people on insurance industry and their products will catalyse fast track development and progress of the country. The President expressed these views while addressing a seminar on “the effective role of Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO) in the provision of justice”, here at Governor House, Peshawar, on Thursday.

Acting Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, FIO, Dr Muhammad Khawar Jameel, senior officials of FIO, representatives of insurance companies, and people from different walks of life attended the seminar.

The President called upon the government and the private sector to focus on developing insurance products for crop insurance and insurance of calamity-hit persons with user friendly interface and discuss and propagate its importance for its wider dissemination.

He said Pakistan had suffered greatly due to the negative fallouts of climate change and global warming, despite the fact that Pakistan’s contribution to global carbon emissions was negligible. He appreciated the Government’s efforts to urge the international community to compensate Pakistan for losses sustained by it due to climate change induced super floods.

The President also urged the need for more effective institutional controls, and user-friendly laws and regulations to enhance transparency and effectiveness of the insurance sector.

He appreciated the fact that FIO was providing relief to aggrieved insurance policy holders by instrument of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), to settle the dispute out of court through mediation and mutual agreement for speedier and cost-effective dispensation of justice as compared to formal justice process.

He appreciated that due to the outreach and awareness campaigns launched by FIO, a significant increase in the number of complaints had been witnessed. He said complaints could be registered with FIO using its helpline number 1082 and its website, besides filing complaints manually or visiting its regional offices.

The President said that he had tasked all five federal ombudsmen to highlight their role through effective awareness campaigns and publicize their landmark decisions, which would encourage the affectees to approach federal ombudsmen in case their rights are compromised.

He called upon the general public to approach the Wafaqi Mohtasib, Federal Insurance Ombudsman, Banking Mohtasib, Federal Tax Ombudsman, and Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace, against the maladministration and high-handedness of any department or entities of federal government for the redressal of their complaints within 60 days.

FIO, Muhammad Khawar Jameel, while addressing the seminar, said that FIO was providing speedy, effective and free-of-cost justice to people within 60 days against the maladministration of insurance companies and was playing its role in making Pakistan’s insurance sector fairer and more transparent.

He highlighted that due to the outreach efforts of FIO, the quantum of relief provided to insurance policyholders had risen from Rs410 million in 2019 to over Rs2 billion in 2022. He said FIO had shifted its focus from prosecution to persuasion and resolution of cases through mediation and mutual settlement.