NEW TRADE ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED TO UNITE INDUSTRY
Source: The Brunei Times, 15 November 2013 A new insurance association that will unite takaful companies with conventional insurers was set up with the launching of the Brunei Insurance and Takaful Association (BITA). The association will replace the General Insurance Association Brunei Darussalam (GIAB), which will be dissolved upon the full operations and election of a management committee, said Helen Yeo, current chairman of GIAB and pro-tempore chairman of BITA.
The GIAB only consists of conventional insurance companies. Yeo told the Oxford Business Group earlier that BITA would address concerns in the industry, which had been previously criticised for “disparity” between the two types of insurance providers. She told OBG in The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2011 that the two streams have previously operated on their own, independent of each other and dialogue has been limited. This has led to a polarity in the industry that has not been of benefit to anyone. As things stand, the only mediating authority is the regulator. Backed by the Insurance Order 2006 and Takaful Order 2008, the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) oversees insurance and takaful in the sultanate. It issued a “General Agency Handbook” to regulate the registration and conduct of general insurance agents. AMBD has now requested for more frequent, monthly reports, whereas previously, insurers were required to submit quarterly reports and their balance sheets once a year, the report read. According to Yeo, members to the BITA will have to sign an “InterCompany Agreement,” which stipulates that they agree to the terms of the AMBD-issued handbook. The soft launching of BITA carried the theme “Protection is everyone’s responsibility” and highlighted the importance of financial planning and eventually the need to have insurance or takaful. Senior government officers and takaful and insurance companies’ staff and personnel attended the event.