September is the month dedicated to insurance in Sri Lanka, beginning with National Insurance Day on the 1st. Every year the insurance industry of Sri Lanka gathers together at various locations in the country to participate in activation programs dedicated to raising awareness about their trade. The Marketing & Sales Forum of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka plays a vital role in the organization of all events related to enhancing the marketing and selling of insurance in the country. Thus, the MSF plays a key role in the organising of the events, activations and various other programs that take place during the Insurance Awareness Month campaign, which takes place throughout September. The Chairman of the MSF, Mr. Dinesh Yogaratnam was kind enough to take a few minutes from his busy schedule to discuss the role, efforts and plans of one of the primary sub-committees of the IASL.
On the subject of the role of the MSF in the IASL, Mr. Yogaratnam explained that the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka, is the industry body, which represents all life and general insurers in the country. There are seven sub-committees of the IASL, each with its own purpose and agenda, examples being the Life Insurance Forum (LIF) or the General Insurance Forum (GIF) etc. The Marketing & Sales Forum, as the name itself implies, is tasked with looking into matters related to the marketing and selling of insurance in the country. Further, the MSF works towards increasing awareness about the importance of insurance among the general public in a bid to propagate the concept of having one’s life and property protected, and thereby to increase the level of insurance penetration in Sri Lanka. The MSF comprises of the heads of distribution and marketing of all insurance companies operating in Sri Lanka.
“The celebration of National Insurance Day and the Insurance Awareness Month campaign are both part of the strategy to help people understand the need for protection, which can be fulfilled by insurance. As the committee dedicated to building awareness about insurance, the MSF plays a leading role in the National Insurance Day events as well as the programs that make up the Insurance Awareness Month campaign. The MSF coordinates with both the partner radio station and the hosting company of the various activation programs that are being held throughout the country at present. I am very happy with the efforts of my committee as well as the support rendered by the IASL, the IRCSL and the insurance companies of Sri Lanka who have come forward to join us in spreading the message of insurance to every corner of the island”, said the Chairman of the MSF when questioned about theefforts of the MSF in organizing the National Insurance Day activities as well as the Insurance Awareness Month campaign this year.
Describing the activations that took place in the seven allocated locations, which began on the 1st of September, Mr. Yogaratnam stated, “National Insurance Day was celebrated on the 1st of September. The first of the regional activation programs was held on the same day in Colombo. This was followed by activation programs in Galle, Negombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee and Jaffna. Each of these programs was hosted by a specific insurance company with the participation of the other life and general companies in the area. I think this is an excellent display of the solidarity and camaraderie of the Sri Lankan insurance industry. What happens at these activations is the gathered agents are enlightened and instructed on their responsibilities and the tasks they are expected to carry out during that day. The agents also make a pledge that together they will carry the message of insurance throughout the country. Following this the agents scatter throughout the town where the program is being held to speak to people and educate as many of them as possible about the value of insurance. This year we also deployed a team of actors to perform street dramas to entertain and educate people about insurance and to address some of the misconceptions that keep people from purchasing insurance.”
“The MSF has a set list of objectives that we aim to accomplish in the coming years. The first is to enhance the industry’s profile as a profession of choice by presenting a career in insurance sales as a lucrative and viable path, which provides career development, attractive remuneration prospects, and avenues to gain local and international recognition. The second and third objectives are to grow the life and general insurance markets by identifying the needs of the potential clientele and addressing common misconception about the industry. Increasing the level of insurance penetration in the country is a gradual process but we feel confident that in the years to come we will see a boost in the growth of the number of insurance policy holders in Sri Lanka”, responded the Chairman of the MSF when asked about the organization’s plans for the future.