NIC blames industry players for lack of public trust

Business News of Thursday, 5 March 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Lydia Lariba Bawa NIC

The Commissioner of Insurance, Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, has said insurance companies are largely to blame for the lack of public trust in the industry.

According to a survey conducted by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) with support from German International Cooperation (GIZ), the real problem facing the insurance industry is the lack of trust and confidence in insurance companies which has resulted in most people not being keen on insuring their properties and liabilities.

She said this was due to the industry’s history of rate undercutting, poor underwriting, poor claims management, huge outstanding premiums, inadequate capital and the unfair treatment of policy holders.

Ms Bawa said this when she addressed participants in the 9th Ghana Re annual international seminar on general liability insurance last week at Elmina.

She said insurance regulators would, however, continue to look for innovative ways of resolving those challenges as it was moving towards risk-based supervision in the hope of strengthening the technical and financial capabilities of the regulated entities.

She also called on the insurance companies to equip their employees to enable them to deliver.

She said training and capacity building was very imperative and insurers, therefore, had to pay more attention to training and retraining of their staff to ensure that they remained technically proficient.

“Training must be considered an investment rather than expenditure,” she said.

“I am strongly convinced that these observations are not new to Ghana Re, considering their longstanding and reputable expertise in the insurance industry, hence their commitment to the organisation of training seminars to help equip underwriters”, she added.

The commissioner also applauded Ghana Re for continually striving to update and improve the skills and knowledge of insurance practitioners, thereby increasing professionalism and improving the image of the industry.

The seminar, which was scheduled for February 23-27, was focused on general liability insurance and it brought together 49 participants from Ghana, The Sudan, Nigeria, Cote d’voire, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya.