AZERBAIJAN: AIA: insurance sector must prepare a plan for switching to a remote mode of operations

2 April 2020 — Marina MAGNAVAL
The fight against spread of COVID-19 requires urgent and forced measures that affect all areas of activity, including insurance industry.

As first, premium collection will decrease, as the Chairman of the board of the Azerbaijani Insurers Association (AIA) Azer ALIYEV noted. Since "in the conditions of certain critical situations arising in the economic space, the insurance sector suffers first of all. This is because the insurance costs fall primarily under the sequestration as expenses not related to the satisfaction of primary and urgent needs", he said. However, ALIYEV believes it is necessary to revise principles of work and direct the activities of insurance companies in a specific direction under the new conditions.

"It is during this period, when many, observing the special quarantine regime, are in isolation, that the insurance community must promptly prepare a plan for switching to a remote mode of operations. Those challenges that face society in the context of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), cause concern about tomorrow, the well-being of their and their loved ones", ALIYEV said. He explained that under the new conditions, insurance companies should focus on creation of new insurance products to meet the needs of their customers, and also expand online sales. Now it is really important to deliver this message to people - "only with insurance you can protect yourself from existing risks and confidently look to the future", he underlined.

Some significant types of compulsory insurance can operate without documentation, which is facilitated by the level of development of digitalization on the insurance market of Azerbaijan - MTPL and insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases. Besides, many companies can issue insurance contracts for voluntary insurance in electronic format.

ATA Sigorta insurance company switched to issuance of MotorHull insurance policies in e-format, Gala Sigorta launched a mobile application on compulsory insurance, Standard Insurance switched to a remote mode of operations, and PASA Sigorta is offering free delivery of medication to its clients.

As the Chairman of the AIA Board stressed, "we are not making bright plans, but we are optimistic about the future! I am sure that in this difficult situation, the entire insurance community of Azerbaijan will be able to unite and demonstrate solidarity with the people".

Musa GULIYEV, Chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee on Labor and Social Policy, noted that the World Health Organization ranked Azerbaijan among the best countries that successfully fight against coronavirus. In the country it was decided even to amend the law on compulsory health insurance and postpone completion of implementation of this compulsory insurance until 2021, Trend news agency reports.

"By amending the law on health insurance, it is advisable to defer insurance and other payments to the compulsory health insurance fund in the amount of four percent of the salary payable from April this year for a period of one year," GULIYEV said.

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