One hundred and five Colonial Life Insurance Company Ltd (CLICO) insurance agents will be jobless come June 30.
The news was relayed to them by CLICO’s managing director Carolyn John at a meeting held on May 22.
Wendell Noel, unit manager at CLICO’s Rushworth Street branch said the agents were stunned by the news given that they had stayed on when the company was undergoing turmoil in 2009.
Noel noted after the Central Bank intervened in CLICO, many agents left the company to take up lucrative jobs at other insurers but some 105 agents “remained loyal to the CLICO brand and our clients”.
“It therefore came as a shock to all of us when last Thursday, May 22, 2014 we were informed by CLICO’s managing director, Ms Carolyn John, that arising from the sale of CLICO’s insurance portfolio, a proposal will be sent to Central Bank, ceasing the sale of all insurance products as well as the termination of all agents’ contracts effective June 30, 2014, with no severance.
“This was particularly painful when one considers that many of the agents who stayed on have devoted most of their working life, in one case as much as 38 years, toward servicing their clients. Nonetheless, we are being told we are not entitled to any severance benefits and would have to accept whatever is offered to us,” said Noel at a news conference at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s yesterday.
“We, the sales force, have always been guided by our management team based on instructions and assurances from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance that the terms and conditions of all policies would be honoured; they would return CLICO to its original moorings and then have it listed as a public company. This was reconfirmed by the new governor of the Central Bank Mr Jwala Rambarran and the Minister of Finance Mr Larry Howai, when they told the public that the assets of CLICO would be transferred to a new company called Atrius,” he said.
Noel said the agents have been receiving calls from customers enquiring what would become of their policies.
He noted the Central Bank has given all the assurances that all existing terms and conditions of CLICO policies remain intact and would be honoured.
“It would be within out clients’ rights to request the retention of their agent as part of the transition to the new entity. However, there is no obligation on the part of the buyer of the portfolio to agree to same. In those circumstances, policyholders would then have to carefully consider their options while the Central Bank would have to examine the possible implications of this development,” he ended.