ICB addressing insurance sector deficiencies through amended legislation
The Insurance Commission of The Bahamas (ICB) continues to address deficiencies in the insurance sector through amended legislation and continues to educate the Bahamian people on the insurance market in general, as it celebrates ten years this year as the regulator for the insurance industry.
During a press conference yesterday held at the ICB, Superintendent of Insurance Michele Fields said getting Bahamians to understand the structure of the insurance market has been an ongoing challenge, especially given that the commission is the body that fields complaints about insurance companies.
“One of the big challenges is education,” she said. “People don’t really understand insurance. Even just the structure of the market, people don’t understand. Just to understand the structure of the market, I think that’s something basic that we don’t understand. I think one of the things that we do here is that we address consumers’ complaints and from that, we get some feeling of the issues which are out there that people face all the time.”
According to Fields, the issues that have arisen for the financial services sector also affect the insurance sector. She said in order for The Bahamas to avoid any further blacklisting, the insurance sector will have to amend its legislation. She said the sector is currently working on those changes.
For its tenth anniversary, the ICB is continuing its education campaigns through talk show appearances, a speakers forum, a high school essay competition and an environmental campaign called “Blue is the New Green”.
“The commission is proud of the accomplishments made over the past decade,” Fields said.
“Over the past ten years, a robust framework has been developed, focused on ensuring that all licensees and registrants of the commission adhere to sound and prudent business practices.
“We have invested in the training and development of our staff and we have a cadre of 30 qualified professionals. We hope that as a result of our ongoing communication and engagement with the general public, particularly our consumer awareness radio and television ads, that the public will gain greater understanding of the insurance market and the role of the commission.”
A significant issue facing the insurance industry is attracting talent. Fields said she hopes through its activities the commission can reach students at the high school and tertiary levels and motivate them to consider a career in the insurance industry.
“Insurance is a dynamic industry in a world of evolving technology and innovation in products, and also an important pillar of personal financial security,” said Fields.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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