NAFLIA to enhance public awareness on insurance

August, 9, 2017

The National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors (NAFLIA) will take place for the 8th consecutive year with 2017’s theme being, “Towards the Day All Sri Lankans are Insured- “Are we ready?” The forum is anticipated to bring together top-level Life Insurance advisors from across the country and provide them with a platform for knowledge sharing and networking. Subjects such as new developments in the Insurance Industry and technological entities will become hot topics for discussion among other things.

“The overall structure of the event this year has been scheduled to include an extremely informative keynote address and the participation of movers and shakers from outside the Insurance Industry in panel discussions will bring in thoughts and views of key personnel who are not from the Insurance industry” explained Mr. Deepthi Lokuarachchi, the President of the IASL.

Mr. Lokuarachchi further explained, “The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) is a collective body representing all companies both in the Life and General Insurance fields. The IASL has various subcommittees that are tasked with the management of key areas such as, Actuarial, Finance and Technical sectors, which affect the industry. As such, the Marketing and Sales Forum (MSF) is a subcommittee of the IASL represented by key personnel involved in marketing and distribution of each company. Therefore, NAFLIA is the annual coming together of Life Insurance advisors and distribution management, facilitated by the Marketing and Sales Forum under the guidance of the IASL”.

“NAFLIA is being organized by a dedicated team of like-minded individuals from the MSF and has been the focal driving force for events pertaining to both the General and Life Insurance sectors of the Sri Lankan Insurance Industry over the years. Their most recent undertaking was the General Insurance Sales Congress (GISCO), which was held for the 2nd consecutive year with the participation of members from the General Insurance fraternity”, stated the Chairman of the Marketing & Sales Forum, Mr. Hashra Weerawardena as he discussed the role of the MSF.

On the primary purpose of NAFLIA, Mr. Lokuarachchi said, “The primary driving force in organizing NAFLIA is to provide a forum for Life Insurance advisors to share experiences and gain knowledge. As such these events have in their agendas, presentations and panel discussions by eminent personalities in the management of Insurance firms, industry experts and top advisors from major industries in the country so that the audience will be able to receive input from a wider spectrum.”

“Salesmen who would convince a customer to purchase an intangible product, and a benefit, which may not accrue to him or her during their lifetime, in particular and in the greater part of the world in general, predominantly drive the Sri Lankan Life Insurance Industry. The benefits of this unique product will be enjoyed by their loved ones, which will enable the continuity and prosperity of a family unit in society. Life Insurance will therefore bring in that certainty to the uncertainty that we all live in; the forum for Life Insurance advisors (NAFLIA) provides an opportunity for the Life Insurance advisors to sharpen their skills and share ideas about successes within the fraternity”, added Mr. Weerawardena.

Primarily the pre and post events publicity pertaining to the event and points discussed provide the general public information regarding the importance of Insurance and it also provides a stimulus for advisors to enhance their performance to be able to qualify for a part of this event. Together, these two facts help the industry boost its image both from the point of greater publicity in the media as well as greater activation at ground level,” said the President of the IASL as he described the manner in which events such as NAFLIA improve the position of Life Insurance in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Weerawardena contributed by saying, “Until a sudden, unforeseen and unfortunate situation takes place the general population would not think of the significance of having Insurance. This is the real situation even though in today's nuclear family setup it can be a necessity. Events such as NAFLIA enable the Insurance advisor to be more professional in the pre-sale approach as well as in post sale service that serves to be an integral part of a good life Insurance advisor's key role in society. These events propel the advisor to be a financial consultant, risk assessor, and more importantly a friend when in need”.

“The IASL through the MSF has been able to lobby the government with the help of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka and have the 1st of September 2017 declared as National Insurance Day along with the launch of a commemorative stamp that will be unveiled to mark the date. Further, the month of September will be commemorated as ‘Insurance Awareness Month’, where hype will be created in the media as well as on ground level through various activations and promotions”, Mr. Lokuarachchi announced.

The Chairman of the MSF further emphasized about Insurance awareness and its penetration within Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, this is still known to be at a low level when compared with some countries in the region. “Our theme this year is very apt in this regard and speaks of our vision for Sri Lanka in the not too distant future when we wait for the day when Sri Lankans will embrace the concept of Insurance. Many events are being planned for the 1st of September and throughout the month of September in order to make the public aware of the need for Insurance and to take the message of Insurance to all corners of Sri Lanka,” he added.