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Insurance Bill moving ahead

By Carla Bridglal

 The Insurance Bill is once step closer to being laid in Parliament for debate. 

In a statement to the Express, Finance Minister Larry Howai said the first phase of activity, involving discussions with industry stakeholders on proposed amendments to the bill has been completed by the Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament.

“Discussions with stakeholders were very comprehensive and now, with the consultative process having been thoroughly completed, the JSC must sit to consider the amendments that have been put forward,” Howai said. 

Howai said Government’s goal was to make Trinidad and Tobago a regional financial centre; as such the development and implementation of this bill and its subsequent passage will be a “key foundation stone in creating the financial services architecture necessary to support a regional financial centre”.

The objective of this bill is to maintain confidence and enhance the soundness and stability of the financial system in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as ensure an appropriate measure of protection for policyholders and beneficiaries, he added.

The Insurance Bill 2013 has been in development since 2001 and will replace the Insurance Act 1980.

The insurance reform is anticipated by the industry. At an awards ceremony for Tatil agents on Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad), Port of Spain, chairman and chief executive of the ANSA McAl group A Norman Sabga said the bill is expected to address “fundamental prudential deficiencies” and the group “welcomes” its passage. Tatil, the second largest insurer in the country, is a subsidiary of ANSA McAl. 

Tatil, Sabga noted, had grown from an initial premium income 51 years ago of $634,000 to $313 million.

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