Insurance agents sustain injury

Kathmandu, August 21:

At least ten persons were injured when police baton char-ged the agitating agents at Ame-rican Life Insurance Company (ALICO) head office at Narayani Complex in Pulchowk, today.

“Ten insurance agents were injured in the scuffle between police and agents,” said Neeraj Khanal, agency manager of ALICO, adding that the scuffle took place as agents tried to enter the office to get clarification on the notice the ALICO management issued today.

Issuing a public notice, ALICO today said that it will not levy penalty on those policyholders who couldn’t pay their premium during the period between July 30 to August 8, as its offices were closed down due to security reasons. The company said that it resumed its operations from August 9 after a directive from the Insurance Board to resume operations immediately.

However, agitating agents claimed that all transactions at ALICO have remained idle for more than a month due to their protests. “The claim of the management that the office was closed for 10 days only is false. It means the company is going to levy penalty on those policyholders who couldn’t pay the premiums after August 9,” Khanal said.

The insurance agents at ALICO have been staging protests for more than a month demanding the management to publicise its financial status, maintain transparency, increase incentives for agents and policyholders, among others.

Following the ALICO management’s stance of not meeting the demands, the agents have padlocked the ALICO head office during the office hours. ALICO has over 150,000 policyholders in Nepal and 12 agency offices across the country.

The insurance agents of all five life insurance companies including Rastriya Beema Sansthan, LIC Nepal, Nepal Life Insurance Company and National Life and General Insurance Company had halted transactions for two hours on Monday, to express their solidarity with the ongoing protests at ALICO.

The protests, led by the Professional Insurance Agent Association, had brought all transactions to a grinding halt at these insurance companies from 10am to 12 noon.