Government to help improve insurance performance

Kwaku Kwarteng

Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, the Deputy Minister of Finance, says Government is willing to provide the enabling environment to improve insurance performance by facilitating the regulator; National Insurance Commission, to promote research into the insurance business.

He said the industry should, therefore, position itself to benefit from government policy interventions and the huge opportunities that existed in the agricultural, manufacturing, real estate and telecommunications sectors to expand the frontiers of economic growth and stability in Ghana.

Mr Kwarteng said this in a speech read on his behalf at the First General Insurance Conference 2017 in Accra, on the theme: “Transforming the General Insurance Industry in Ghana through Self-Regulation, Financial Capacity and Business Innovation.”

Mr Kwarteng said the theme was no doubt in conformity with government’s objective to improving the reach and depth of financial services delivery.

He commended the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) and the General Insurance Council for instituting the Annual National General Insurance Conference.

He said business innovation was one of the useful tools at the disposal of insurance companies for improving performance adding that new ideas would have to be implemented and new products developed to meet changing needs.

Mr Kwarteng said the current insurance penetration rate of two per cent was below the African average of 3.5 per cent and the figure, in respect of General Insurance, could even be lower.

“The Insurance Act, 2006 (Act 724) mandates the National Insurance Commission to undertake sustained and methodical public education on insurance to improve insurance penetration,” he said.

He said the GIA had a fundamental responsibility to self-police and deal with rogues in the industry and ensure that members did what was right in order to prevent undue interference from the regulator.

He expressed the hope that conference deliberations would not only serve as a means of fully utilising the advantages of self-regulation and building financial capacity but also provide the platform for discussing topical issues on insurance in general.

Mr Kwarteng said: “The Insurance Industry has provided employment opportunities and more importantly, its traditional role of risk management has provided financial security to businesses and families.”

He said government’s focus on economic management, through private sector-led production, could not be achieved without the development of the insurance sector.

Mr Kwame Ofori, the Second Vice President and Chairman of General Insurance Council, said it was worthy to note that the GIA had embarked on a number of self-regulation measures, one of which was the three-tier customer complaints management system, which has the insurance company as the first point of call, thereafter, the GIA and then the National Insurance Commission.

He said the GIA at its AGM resolved to address undercutting through self-regulation and that the mode was presently being worked.

Mr Steven Olouchi, the Chief Executive Officer of ICEA LION General Insurance, Nairobi said self-regulation enhanced competition and customer rights.

He called on insurance companies to design innovative products that would better suit the interest of customers and educate the public on the benefits of insurance.

He urged the insurers to market themselves through prompt payments of claims to their customers.

Source: GNA

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