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Supervision of the Insurance Industry Fijian Style

Sometimes over the past few years you would be forgiven for thinking that we were busy getting it hopelessly wrong - recall the muddle over the convoluted definition of term life insurance, whether income protection was category one or two, the whole 'approved professional bodies' side-road - and somehow we arrived, muddling along through long consultation processes and implementation schedules to where we are now. But actually these are signs of strength in our decision-making process.

If you sometimes hanker for the swift and sure decision-making of less democratic places, let me provide you with one very recent example that should be an antidote to that. From a correspondent:

Recent we were advised by the Fiji tax department that a new tax/duty would apply to Travel insurance and that the change would be backdated to all policies issued since Feb 2012.

No consultation.  

It would triple premiums.

They got it completely wrong. The result is that the whole industry is suspending all further travel insurance sales. 

We can only hope they realise and climb down - other wise the entire segment, and the cover, is gone.

...and not just that, but investors will remember that they can't rely on Fiji to be fair to business. Which means less investment and fewer jobs. I'll choose our messy democracy, slow and unsteady though it is.

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