The Chief Executive Officer of Africa Sureties & Insurance Advisory (ASIAC), Solomon Lartey has said that the new Insurance Bill approved by parliament and assented to by President Akufo-Addo will deepen insurance penetration and place the Ghanaian Insurance Industry in good stead to handle the insurance needs of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement/Area (AfCFTA).
According to him, the provisions like the Insurance Education Fund, the Agricultural Insurance Fund and the introduction of some compulsory insurances are plausible and would go a long way to enhance the image of the Ghanaian insurance industry and increase insurance penetration in Ghana, which is still below 2%.
The provision for minimum premium rates should in part reduce under-cutting and provide realistic premiums to insurers which would reduce the expense ratios of insurers and enhance profitability.
According to him, the regulator – National Insurance Commission (NIC) has clear guidelines on the use of premium receipts by insurers and therefore any increases in incomes or turnover by insurers would in turn be channeled to strengthening the industry and would lead to better solutions and speedy claims settlement.
The NIC has recently increased the minimum capital requirement of insurance companies from GH¢15 million to GH¢50 million. This will take effect from January, 2022.
The 2020 Insurance Bill was prepared by the National Insurance Commission of Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance to repeal by way of re-enactment, the Insurance Act, 2006 (Act 724), to establish the National Insurance Commission to provide for the regulation and supervision of the insurance market.
It was expected that under the new Insurance Bill, Workmen’s Compensation, Group Life, Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Insurance of Commercial Buildings and Marine Insurance would be made compulsory in Ghana.
He said “I am informed that not all the expected compulsory insurances were granted but the details of which insurances had become compulsory in Ghana would be announced soon by the NIC”.
The CEO of ASIAC Limited said the 2020 Insurance Bill will strengthen the hand of the regulator and sanitize the industry, adding that this, coupled with good corporate governance and capitalization would benchmark the Ghanaian Insurance Industry against International best practice and ready itself for the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
He said one very exciting feature of the 2020 Bill is the licensing of innovative insurers which is designed to promote innovation, niche players and increase insurance penetration in Ghana; adding that ASIAC was established to provide insurance based credit risks and sureties’ management solutions that help reduce the cost of borrowing and increase access to loans in Ghana.
Mr. Lartey commended Justice Ofori and his team at the NIC for such a bold initiative and added that, what is left is for the NIC to now issue directives and guidelines regarding the implementation of the new provisions under the 2020 Insurance Bill.
The ASIAC boss exclaimed that local insurance and reinsurance companies must now brace themselves to provide international level solutions beyond the borders of Ghana; by so doing they would be able to benefit immensely from the trillion-dollar investment framework of the AfCFTA.