Insurance Institute of India (III) along with SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC) Seminar on "Building Financial Resilience of SAARC Countries against Natural Disasters: The Insurance Option".

Insurance Institute of India (III) along with SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC) Seminar on "Building Financial Resilience of SAARC Countries against Natural Disasters: The Insurance Option" on 3rd December 2014. Mr. M. Ramaprasad, Member (Non-Life), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, was Chief Guest of the Seminar and Dr. Santosh Kumar, Director, SAARC Disaster Management Centre, India (SDMC) delivered the Keynote Address.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, December 3, 2014 /India PRwire/ -- Insurance Institute of India (III) along with SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC) is in the process of creating awareness on building disaster resilience in the entire SAARC Region of eight countries, through the mechanism of insurance.

In order to discuss the issue in its entirety with the Indian Insurance Industry and take its combined wisdom to the SAARC level, Insurance Institute of India held a seminar on 3rd December 2014 at the Institute's auditorium at BKC in association with SDMC, New Delhi. A background paper 'Building Financial Resilience of SAARC Countries against Natural Disasters: The Insurance Option' prepared to facilitate discussion and help in focusing on some of the key areas that require attention was discussed.

Inaugurating the Seminar, Mr. M. Ramaprasad, Member (Non-Life), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, Chief Guest of the Seminar listed out the various endeavors of the Insurance Regulator along with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in promoting disaster related insurance in a sustainable manner. He complimented the various governmental agencies in their efforts which have translated into reducing loss of life considerably in all the recent disasters that stuck India. Dr. Santosh Kumar, Director, SAARC Disaster Management Centre, India (SDMC) in his keynote address discussed the specific vulnerability situations in each of the SAARC Countries. He spoke of the importance of creating ex-ante solutions through insurance to reduce the ex-post financial losses after disasters strike.

The Insurers' Panel comprising Mr. V. Manickam, Secretary General, Life Insurance Council, Mr. Kaushal K. Mishra, Managing Director & CEO, Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd., Mr. M. P. Vasimalai Executive Director of DHAN Foundation, Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Secretary General, General Insurance Council and Mr. Malay K. Poddar, General Manager, Agriculture Insurance Company of India and Chaired by Mr. G. Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, New India Assurance Co. Ltd. deliberated over various Insurance perspectives and approaches to disaster preparedness by insurers over the years. The issues relating to community level institutions and people at the lowest economic levels of the society and how the insurance concept of mutuality was close to their lives was discussed in detail. The angles of crop insurance, problems of farmers and parametric weather based agriculture insurance over large geographical areas were also discussed.

The Reinsurers' Panel chaired by Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Secretary General, General Insurance Council comprising Mr. Arun Agarwal, Lloyd's General Representative in India, Mr. Joseph Augustine, Chief Representative to India of Catlin Insurance Company Ltd., Mr. K.L Naik, Managing Director, Xperitus Composite Brokers, Mr. D.T.V. Sastri, Deputy General Manager, GIC Re., Mr. Atmaram Cheruvu, India Representative (Non Life), Hannover Re Consulting Services and Mr. G. Satish Raju, Head - Global Partnerships South Asia, Swiss Re Services India Private Ltd pondered over Reinsurers' perspectives in building financial resilience in SAARC Countries against Natural Disasters. The panel discussed various issues like concentration of high value property risks in certain areas and how the reinsurance market is globally an enabler for covering catastrophic losses. The various approaches by GIC Re in the SAARC Countries and at the FAIR level were discussed. While discussing the concept of risk pooling to address low frequency and high severity catastrophic losses, participants hailed the success of the GIC Re administered Terrorism pool which could withstand two major instances of terrorism, which are technically, man-made disasters.

Citing the knowledge partnership between Insurance Institute of India and SDMC as an importance landmark in the Diamond Jubilee year of the Institute, Mr. P. Venugopal, Secretary General of Insurance Institute of India (who is Secretary General of the Federation of State Insurance Organizations of SAARC Countries as well) assured the industry of its support by way of providing the knowledge quotient and research in this area. Concluding the session, Dr Santosh Kumar stated the SDMC's intention to conduct a SAARC level Seminar for this purpose during February 2015 in Delhi where participants from the Governments, Insurance Regulators and insurers of the eight SAARC Countries are proposed to be invited.


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