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“Our goal is not only to protect the company from any financial loss”

The cost of an insurance policy in life insurance companies is determined by the underwriter which decides whether to accept or deny a person in insurance. He must have the necessary knowledge and experience to establish the appropriate risk level, premium rates and conditions of insurance. Learning objectives of international underwriting schools, the importance of honesty while information filling in insurance declarations and the risks related to information hiding were addressed during an interview with Mrs. Toksanbaeva Ardak, the only underwriter in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, graduated with an international certificate CII - Head of the Underwriting Department of NOMAD LIFE LIC JSC.
“Our goal is not only to protect the company from any financial loss”


Gen Re Business School is certified in Chartered Insurance Institute (United Kingdom) and is engaged in teaching courses and certification in the fields of insurance and finances around the world. Gen Re Business School provides combination of a long-term experience of professional training with the recognized experience of a global reinsurer. Innovative advanced concepts in training for the insurance market were developed in close cooperation with experts possessing practical experience in various fields.

 CII certificate ensures an opportunity to assess risks taking into account international practice.  CII certificates are widely recognized in the insurance industry all over the world. 

- Ardak, at what year did start to make a study? Who recommended it to you?

- It all began in 2011, when the Company still was known as Astana Finance LIC JSC. At that time international experts of Gen Re, a large re-insurance company, visited our company to get acquainted and to make a partnership proposal.  They offered me to undergo a training in one of the world’s largest training centers in the field of insurance - Gen Re Business School. The training process was quite long, as I finished my studies when the company changed its brand to NOMAD LIFE LIC JSC. I am grateful to former and current managers for the opportunity to study and become a certified international underwriter, so far, the only one in the industry of life insurance in the Republic of Kazakhstan.  In European Union countries, almost every underwriter has such a certificate.  Our sector is just beginning to gain momentum, and the demand for our insurance programs is gradually emerging, so I hope that in the near future there will be more specialists graduated with such a certificate in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

- Why there was a desire to learn? And does it point out that experts-underwriters in the life insurance market of Kazakhstan are not qualified enough?

- There are no unskilled underwriters in insurance market of Kazakhstan. Reinsurance companies engaged in a cooperation agreement conduct training and seminars on an ongoing basis.  In my case, Gen Re made an offer to undergo a full course of study in Cologne and now gives me the opportunity to assess risks in the light of international practice.  The main risk assessed by the underwriters of life insurance sector is human health, therefore, as a rule, in order to take this position a specialist must have medical education, but it is of note that this is an optional requirement.  

Underwriter is the element in the insurance company.  Perhaps it seems that underwriting slows down the process of acceptance for insurance, cramp business (sales) development. But that is not so! We must not only protect the company from financial losses, but also ensure with fair and favorable conditions for each client.  For example, if a person is absolutely healthy, then he pays less. The client must be sure that the insurance portfolio of our company consists of adequate risks. For example, if the company does not perform underwriting, it will lead to frequent payments, which in its turn will lead to financial insolvency of the company. And the clients want to deal with a financially sound company.

 - Have you noticed any difference in the conclusions of underwriters in former Soviet Union countries and for example European countries based on your own observations within the framework of collaboration with your foreign colleagues? Could you explain the reason?

 - Of course, the difference exists. In foreign countries, all the experience and statistics are consolidated, as well as the constant practice and participation of clinicians. In CIS countries this procedure is not developed same as insurance in total resulted from such factors as First and Second World Wars, famine. Same as State Insurance smashup after USSR breakup did not contribute to insurance develop and increase of confidence to it as to a financial institute.  While our countries recovered after long hard years, the European countries as well as far-abroad countries have gone very far.

What the client should pay attention to when concluding the insurance contract?

 - Each client should provide us, insurers, complete and true information about him. First of all, it is necessary for a fair underwriting assessment, as well as for the benefit of the client. It happens for some reason, for example, due forgetfulness, a client did not indicate information about his current diseases. In such cases, if there is an insurance event with the client, it will be difficult to prove that at the time of contract signing he was healthy. In such cases, the company has the right to deny insurance payment. Therefore, it is very important that the information provided in the insurance application be true.

 What category of persons are not accepted for insurance here?

 - There are many such categories. First of all, these are people who have a disability of any group at the time of the of the contract signing, severe cardiovascular diseases, cancerous diseases, people with drug abuse, people engaged in heavy sports (diving, parachute activity, climbing, etc.), hazardous occupations (divers, rescue service staffers, fire people, miners, etc.), as well as persons deprived of liberty.

 - And abroad?

 - It is of noted that some categories of persons immediately denied insurance her may be accepted for insurance in foreign countries. Some foreign countries have its own statistics and its own vision in relation to such categories, and all the more so as foreign insurance companies have a lot of experience and huge reserves.  Our insurers are still young compared to foreign countries.

 - When is it necessary to undergo a medical examination? Is this a mandatory procedure for everyone?

 - In fact, a medical examination is not a mandatory procedure for everyone. As a rule, the interest of an insurance company in in-depth study of health condition of a particulate insured person arises if an insurance coverage is high enough, and answers provided by an applicant to any question on the medical questionnaire gives grounds for assuming an increased risk. If the underwriter has some questions about the medical information specified by the client, he has the right to request a medical examination before entering into the insurance contract. For example, abroad almost all clients submit their medical data without request from the underwriters before concluding the contract. I think that compulsory medical insurance plays an important role here. Everything is related.

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