Vernon James elected new IAJ president

Chief executive officer and managing director of NCB Insurance Company Limited Vernon James was elected president of the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) at their annual general meeting recently and immediately expressed excitement at the opportunities the role presents.

“Even as Jamaica navigates the COVID-19 crisis it is evident that there is much to do within our respective industries. Insurance has an important part to play in educating and preparing companies, their employees and people in general for any eventualities – unplanned or otherwise – that can occur in life,” a news release from NCB quoted James.

He said, too, that financial inclusion would be a major strategic thrust for the IAJ in the coming months, with a view to have insurance companies develop products that feature smaller coverage options which will be more attractive to the masses.

“Insurance is a nuanced business and during my term, my administration and I have committed to make information simple and accessible to those who need it, and we will be providing wide-scale opportunities to make insurance more affordable to Jamaicans,” he said.

“We want to take the mystery out of insurance, to make Jamaicans understand how important and necessary having an insurance policy is – instead of thinking of insurance with distrust,” James added.

He spoke to the fact that insurance companies, both within the general and life sectors, are veering from the traditional sales agent model and are instead exploring new channels to make product and service delivery more cost-effective.

“The IAJ will continue to support its members and we will be designing some initiatives to ensure we practise knowledge transfer and adhere to international best practices in an effort to make our local industry more competitive and resilient,” James said.

Prior to his appointment as president, James served on the IAJ board of directors in the capacity of vice-president (life) over the last two years. He succeeds Peter Levy, from the general insurance sector, managing director of British Caribbean Insurance Company, who served as president since 2018.

The IAJ presidency rotates between general and life sectors biennially.
James brings to his term in office 20 years of experience in the financial sector.

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