PESHAWAR, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi stressed the need to initiate insurance products nationally and as far as possible by integrating into the international insurance system for crop insurance and insurance against floods in order to protect farmers from crop loss and safeguard the livelihoods and property loss of victims during man-made or natural calamities.
During a seminar on “The Effective Role of the FIO in the Delivery of Justice” held at the Governor House in Peshawar on Thursday, the President said that increased confidence of people in the insurance industry and their products will catalyze the rapid development and progress of the country.
Acting Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO), Dr. Muhammad Khawar Jameel, senior FIO officials, representatives of insurance companies and people from different walks of life attended at the seminar.
President Arif Alvi called on the government and private sector to focus on developing insurance products for crop insurance and disaster insurance with a user-friendly interface and to discuss and propagate its importance for its wider distribution.
The President further said that Pakistan has suffered greatly from the negative fallout of climate change and global warming, despite the fact that Pakistan’s contribution to global carbon emissions is negligible. He appreciated the government’s efforts to urge the international community to compensate Pakistan for the losses it has suffered due to climate change induced super floods.
Dr. Arif Alvi also emphasized the need for more effective institutional controls and user-friendly laws and regulations to improve transparency and efficiency in the insurance industry.
The President appreciated that the FIO offered relief to aggrieved policyholders through an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) instrument, to settle the dispute out of court through mediation and mutual agreement for a faster and more cost-effective dispensation of justice compared to the formal judicial process.
President Arif Alvi appreciated that due to the awareness campaigns launched by the FIO, a significant increase in the number of complaints has been noted. He said complaints could be registered with the FIO using its 1082 helpline number and website, in addition to filing complaints manually or visiting its regional offices.
The President said he had instructed the five federal mediators to highlight their role through effective awareness campaigns and to publicize their landmark decisions, which would encourage those affected to contact the federal mediators in case their rights would be compromised.
The President called on the general public to approach the Wafaqi Mohtasib, the Federal Insurance Ombudsman, the Mohtasib Banking, the Federal Tax Ombudsman and the Federal Ombudsman for Protection from Workplace Harassment, Maladministration and arrogance of any federal government department or entity for redress of their complaints within 60 days.
In his address at the seminar, FIO Muhammad Khawar Jameel said that FIO provides fast, effective and free justice to people within 60 days against maladministration by insurance companies and plays its part in making the insurance industry Pakistani people fairer and more transparent.
Khawar Jameel pointed out that due to the outreach efforts of the FIO, the amount of aid given to policyholders has increased from 410 million rupees in 2019 to over 2 billion rupees in 2022.
The FIO said the Federal Insurance Ombudsman has shifted its focus from prosecution to persuasion and resolving cases through mediation and mutual settlement.