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By Rocky ISSOU

LESS than three percent of the population have some form of life insurance cover.

Insurance penetration has been low due to lack of awareness and education in the market space and continued reliance on wantok system, affordability issues and credibility of insurance players who have exited the market abruptly has led to many Papua New Guineans ignoring insurance cover due to lack of education or bad experience.

The onset of early deaths of non-communicable diseases or lifestyle diseases in PNG underpins the importance of obtaining cover for individuals and families.

These startling facts were highlighted by BSP Life Ltd Country Manager Nilson Singh during its first ever cash payout of survival benefit recipient on Thursday 17 January, 2023 at BSPs Waigani head office in Port Moresby.

 “In 2022 our consumer credit insurance product we paid 270 claims totalling K5.5 Million, of this 270 claims, over 60 percent were paid to deaths due to cardiac arrest, heart related issues, cancer and diabetes with the average age between 48-52 years, this are alarming statistics.” said Singh.

BSP Group in 2017 established BSP Life PNG a wholly owned subsidiary of BSP Group which commenced operations in 2018.

BSP Life PNG currently offers 3 insurance products:

  1. Wantok Secure
  2. Wantok Group Term Life
  3. Wantok Delite

“BSP Life PNG Limited will pay a total of K1.3m in 2023 as part of its first Survival Benefit payout to its 450 eligible Wantok Delite policyholders,” said BSP Life PNG Country Manager Nilson Singh.

In making this milestone announcement, Mr. Singh said, “we have already commenced the Survival Benefit payment from this month, and we are expected to pay out in excess of K1.3m to 450 individuals from February through to December 2023. The payment of the survival benefit is a seamless process where once the customer confirms their current bank account details, the benefit is deposited directly into their bank accounts. The Survival benefit is also tax free as per the current Income Tax Act,” said Singh.

Present during this announcement was BSP Life PNG’s first Wantok Delite Insurance policyholder, Henrietta Apping.

Mr. Singh when declaring the inaugural Benefit payment said, “I would like to thank Ms. Apping’s employer, who allowed her to pay the premiums through salary deductions.”

The delighted Survival Benefit recipient, Ms. Apping, commended BSP Life saying that Life Insurance is not something she hesitated to sign up on. “I have confidence in BSP Life as part of the BSP Group and recommend this product to others.”

“I encourage the working class citizens and young people to sign up for this product as it not only helps you stay protected but also helps you save for future in times of unexpected bereavement,” said Ms. Apping.

BSP Group Acting CEO Mr. Ronesh Dayal who was also present during the announcement said, “We understand the importance of Financial Inclusion in PNG and Life Insurance is a key component of financial inclusion. Equally, a long-term investment that will provide a lot of future capacity to the economy of PNG with the savings of our Policyholders, reinvested in profitable and economic opportunities for the country.”

“Whilst BSP Life is a relatively new entity in PNG, having commenced operations in 2018, BSP’s insurance business in Fiji has over 140 years of experience and is able to effectively provide technical expertise and support to its sister company in PNG,” said Mr. Dayal. This, combined with BSP Group’s strong backing, provides our policyholders the confidence they seek when taking up an insurance policy with BSP Life PNG.

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