The economic shield: How insurance can propel national prosperity

As Bhutan strides towards its developmental goals, the role of insurance emerges as a pivotal force, not merely as a contingency plan but as a catalyst for economic stability and growth.

Sonam Tobgay, the Director of Operations at Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL), champions this transformative view of insurance. From his office in Thimphu, Tobgay outlines a vision where insurance is much more than a fallback. “Insurance is not just a safety net; it is the secret weapon that can raise Bhutan’s economy to new heights,” he asserts.

In a country where the beauty of its natural environment is matched by the capriciousness of its weather and geological activity, the importance of insurance cannot be overstated. It acts as a protective barrier for families and businesses alike, securing them against the financial upheavals caused by natural disasters and other unforeseen events. “Insurance is the shield that protects families, businesses, and dreams from unexpected blows,” Tobgay explains.

However, despite its critical importance, there is a significant gap in insurance literacy among the Bhutanese population. Many policyholders, especially business owners, possess scant knowledge about the intricacies of their coverage, potentially exposing them to serious risks. Tobgay points out, “You may or may not be surprised to learn but many individuals who purchase business insurance know very little about it.”

Addressing this issue, Tobgay advocates for enhanced awareness and understanding of insurance policies. By doing so, Bhutan can empower its citizens to make informed decisions, bolstering their financial security and resilience. This education is crucial in helping individuals and businesses understand not just the costs but the substantial benefits of adequate insurance coverage.

Despite the costs associated with obtaining insurance, Tobgay accentuates its value, noting that it has consistently shielded the Bhutanese people and their enterprises from financial disaster. The economic stability fostered by effective insurance use is invaluable, particularly in mitigating the impacts of adversity.

BIL’s strategy focuses on not just selling insurance, but educating potential clients on the strategic advantages of comprehensive coverage. This approach helps ensure that the benefits of insurance extend beyond individual policyholders to the broader economic framework of Bhutan, reinforcing the country’s economic fortitude against potential crises.

As Bhutan continues to navigate its path towards economic progress amidst natural unpredictability, the role of insurance as an economic stabilizer and accelerator becomes ever clearer. With leaders like Sonam Tobgay at the helm, the future of Bhutan’s economy looks not only protected but promising.

By Sherab Dorji, Thimphu