Approximately 20 agents of the Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) protested in front of the company’s Waterloo Street office yesterday for their salaries, which have not been paid to them since January of this year.
The agents told members of the media that all their efforts to contact the relevant authorities in CLICO (Guyana) for their money proved futile. They are always told that the individuals are ‘in a meeting’.
As a result of this, all the agents of CLICO (Guyana) have advised their clients to stop paying their premiums to the insurance company.
They said that as long as clients pay their premiums to CLICO (Guyana), the agents have to be paid. But thus far, this has not happened.
“They (CLICO) have damaged and tarnished the career of agents… The image of the insurance industry in Guyana would not be the same because of these two women (Maria Van Beek and Geeta Singh-Knight)…people would not trust any insurance company because of this,” one agent said. The agents are of the view that similar to the Trinidad Government, the Guyana Government would have taken over the insurance company.
“As far as I am concerned, CLICO is a government company and I don’t want to be part of it any longer.
This ship has already sunk, and if it is to come up back, I don’t want to be part of it. I am calling my clients to stop paying their premiums,” another agent said.
It was explained that the insurance company had sent out letters to the clients advising them to continue paying their premiums and, according to the agents, since clients have received that letter, they have been enquiring whether or not they should pay, but the agents advised them otherwise.
“When premiums are paid, agents are supposed to be paid, but thus far, this has not happened. What are they doing with the money?”
The agents told this newspaper that the issue is having a terrible effect on their lives, since they have families to maintain, bills to pay and commitments to keep.
“But life goes on, what can we do?” Some of the insurance agents have even told their clients to take up policies with GTM.
The agents noted that they will continue their protest action until they are paid their commissions.
In early March, approximately 30 employees of CLICO (Guyana) were issued with letters terminating their service.
The company’s Lamaha Street branch was closed down as the troubled insurance company faces its financial predicament.
Among those who lost their jobs was the entire staff of the Marketing Department as well as several members from the Financial and Underwriting Departments, as well as cleaners and receptionists.
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