By Anusha Thavarajah, former Chairperson of The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII)
Many of us today when asked, will say that it is our passion to go into a profession that is purposeful and will help people. Many probably grew up wanting to become a doctor – me included, because as a child, I looked up in awe at doctors and the role they played in helping people and saving lives. However, I ended up taking a very different route pursuing a degree in Mathematics, becoming an Actuary and finding myself deeply entrenched in an industry that many find hard to understand yet is very much a part of their daily lives – insurance.
This brings me to my message today, and before I start, I would like to first express my sincere appreciation to the CEO, Management Team and Board members of the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) for supporting me in my tenure as the Chairman. The last year was very exciting, and in many ways daunting as together we had to decide the way forward for the Malaysian Insurance Institute which was founded over half a century ago in 1968, to be the preferred institution for education in insurance. We are in a transformative era, and at the start of the next phase for the Insurance Industry which is poised for growth and transformation. This is indeed a very exciting period, and as our journey unfolds, the intention of insurance when it started more than a century ago will truly see its value and purpose come to life as together as an industry, we continue to make a difference in the community which we serve, much like that of a doctor.
Having spent the last 17 years of my career working in Insurance in Malaysia, it has become evident to me what Insurance really means to different people. Whenever I meet friends and family, they will be eager to share their stories with me once they learn that I am in the Insurance business. While the stories are diverse, they all have one common thread – which is that each story is often deeply emotive. Some were tales of gratitude because it helped them get through a difficult period, whether it’s an illness that required treatment and insurance took the financial worry away, or the loss of a breadwinner and insurance ensured that their dreams could continue to live on. This is the Beauty of Insurance….
At the other end of the spectrum is that of frustration and even anger. They thought they were being protected against a loss, and alas found out that they were not covered due to terms in a contract that they did not fully understand or were not properly explained to them. Frustration at not hearing back on a claim or complaint. This the Beast….
All these experiences are real. What we want and ought to see more of, is the “Beauty” rear itself and together with the MII, we have set ourselves a very ambitious goal to transform its role in order to support the Industry through this transformative period. The MII is fully committed to partnering with the Industry to support raising professionalism, improving awareness, and embracing technology to ultimately place each Malaysian at the centre of our purpose.