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Insurance industry hurting businesses: ACCI

The Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Wednesday said rampant unethical business practices in the insurance industry are hurting the economic growth.

Exploitation of the masses as well as the business community by insurance sector coupled with apathy of the government has a demoralising effect, it said.

Many policyholders do not realize how difficult it can be to deal with an insurance company until it comes to make a claim, said Mirza Abdul Rehman, founder president ACCI and former VP FPCCI while speaking to the business community.

President ACCI Arshad Jamil, SVP Ayaz Ahmed, VP Jabir Ali, Executive Committee members Arshad Mughal and Malik Fazal Dad, former president Sheikh Arif and others were also present on the occasion.

Mirza Abdul Rehman said that negative business strategies like denying valid claims, prolonging claims process, confusing customers, credit discrimination and other tactics have shattered the confidence of masses which could not be regained despite hefty spending on advertisements.

Giving an example, he said that on Sept 20th, 2008 a fire broke out in the Marriott Hotel Islamabad after a terrorist attack killing 50 people and causing extensive damage to the property.

But, he said, the insurance companies that happily received substantial premium for years refused to pay the claim of Rs 2.2 billion under one pretext of the other.

The decision of anti-terrorism court, statements of witnesses and opinion of the forensic experts clearly mentions that the fire was not connected to the blast in any way but the insurance companies would not accept the fact to avoid payment, he said.

This attitude amounts to stalling growth of a concern providing jobs to thousands and engaged in widespread social service, he added.

He noted that the administration of the hotel has filed six law suits against the insurance companies in the Special Insurance Tribunal but the pace it very slow and yet in the stage of evidence despite the lapse of half of a decade.

Government, regulator, and judiciary should bar black sheep in the insurance sector from hurting masses and business community for maximizing their profits, he demanded.

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