Business News of Thursday, 14 September 2017
Mr Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, a Deputy Finance Minister, has called for innovative insurance structures and products that are better suited for the Ghanaian market instead of a replication of products and services from the advanced countries.
He said the insurance industry was supposed to play a vital role in the advancement of the national economy and, therefore, called for radical changes and direction in that sector.
“We need to think about deepening financial inclusion and bring more people into the formal economy to participate in the credit sector to help ease their livelihoods,” he said.
Mr Boahen said this when the Board and Management of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) paid a courtesy call on him, in Accra, on Wednesday.
He called for re-capitalisation of the insurance companies, which currently stood at GHc15 million, so as to ensure financial intermediation and move the national economy forward.
He expressed delight over the sense of urgency the Board and Management of the Commission had shown towards carrying out its mandate and reiterated Government’s commitment to work with them to increase the insurance penetration rate.
Mr Boahen said the Ministry’s doors were opened to listen to the concerns and ideas from stakeholders in the insurance industry and collectively work to accelerate national development.
Mr Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, the Board Chairman of the NIC, expressed the Commission’s readiness to work with the Government to reposition the insurance sector in order to increase the low insurance rate, which is currently below two per cent, to a double digit in the next four years.
He said the industry should be a vital component of the financial sector to enhance the socio-economic development of the nation.
The Board Chairman said there were a lot of activities that would be rolled out in the coming days and expressed the hope that the new Insurance Act, which was at the draft stage, would incorporate public liability, professional indemnity, insurance of government properties and marine insurance to boost penetration level.
He said the Commission would work harder to raise public awareness on the need for people to subscribe to insurance policies, while ensuring that insurance companies expeditiously paid claims to beneficiaries to enhance public confidence.
Mr Justice Yaw Ofori, the Commissioner of Insurance, on his part, said it was the Commission’s ambition to ensure the insurance sector played a pivotal role in the financial sector as a source of long term investment for the economy.
Therefore, he said, it would need the Government’s support to strengthen the bond market so that the capital market would have areas to invest their monies in.
“We want to see insurance as a household name when it comes to claims payment and a system of expeditious claims in order to raise the penetration to a double digit by three or four years’ time,” he said.
He expressed the belief that with macro insurance for the majority of the people, especially the lower income segment of the population and agricultural insurance, it would be able to widen its net within the shortest possible time.
Mr Ofori appealed to the Government to facilitate the passage of the draft insurance bill into an Act, which would incorporate vital insurance principles into its business.
The new Insurance Act seeks to review the provisions in the existing Insurance Act, 2006 (Act724).