‘Develop innovative products to meet needs of Ghanaians’
The Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprises Federation, Nana Osei Bonsu, has tasked insurance companies to develop innovative products that address the needs of Ghanaians, especially the informal sector.
He explained that since a significant portion of Ghana’s national income came from the informal sector which insurance companies have neglected, there was the need for the industry to make accessible to the informal sector insurance products that ‘are suitable, relevant and affordable’.
Speaking at the Ghana Reinsurance Company’s (Ghana Re) fourth Cedant Awards night last Friday in Accra, Nana Bonsu said in order to address the needs of the informal sector of the economy, companies would have to realise that insurance policy ‘cannot simply be a low-cost replica of what is provided for the formal sector’.
‘A good understanding of the economic circumstances, the management of finance by the target group and the overall insurance needs of the sector is required,’ he said.
Eight awards were presented to insurance companies for their diverse contribution towards the growth and development of the Ghana Re.
The Ghana Union Assurance Company Limited and Enterprise Life Insurance emerged as overall winners in the General Business and Life Category Cedant of the year awards respectively.
Each company was given a package worth $10,000.
Low insurance penetration
Nana Bonsu expressed worry about the low insurance penetration, saying it ‘means there remains untapped potential for insurers to exploit and ensure continues development of the industry’.
‘With a population of over 24 million people, barely 1.5 per cent has one form of insurance policy or the prospects for the industry are enormous and insurance practitioners must rise up to the occasion,’ he noted.
According to him, Ghana’s micro-insurance market was at a development stage and current trends indicated that there were vast prospects for insurance companies to sell low-cost insurance products.
‘If Ghanaian workers are to benefit immensely from insurance products, especially during retirement, then there is the need to remove impediments to growth and give the industry a facelift’.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Re, Mr Gustav Siale, underscored the need for stakeholders to work together in pursuance of a common agenda and attain higher premium growth that would inure to the benefit of various companies.
‘A country report by the Oxford-business group indicates that insurance penetration ratio in Ghana is two per cent. This is not encouraging and we need to work hard as practitioners to attain a higher penetration ratio,’ he said.
Mr Siale said in order to increase consumer confidence in insurance services, practitioners needed to support the regulatory authority in ensuring that standards were adhered to and unethical practices were done away with.
‘It would be necessary for industry practitioners to develop and deploy alternative distribution channels different from the known ones. In this regard, advantage must be taken of information technology and collaboration with banks.’
By Dominic Moses Awiah & Charles Andoh/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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