Business News of Monday, 19 November 2012
The West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) has launched a sub-regional body to offer insurance brokers a unified platform to exchange information and experience to influence the activities of brokers at both continental and international levels.
The “WAICA Brokers Forum” also seeks to promote brokers’ active participation in the activities of WAICA so as to afford them the opportunity to contribute to international standards setting in a meaningful and significant manner.
Board Chairman of National Insurance Commission (NIC), Mr. Frederick Quayenortey who was speaking at the launch in Accra, called on insurance brokers in the country to take advantage of the forum to be abreast with highest standards of the profession as they push to promote public confidence and trust in the insurance market.
“Insurance brokers command a significant portion of the insurance business generated in the country, serving as distribution channel of insurance -- especially in the area of general insurance. “They play a critical role in building and maintaining a safe, fair and stable insurance sector for the benefit and protection of the interests of policyholders while contributing to the stability of the financial system as a whole.
“In order to make meaningful and significant contributions to insurance practice at international and continental levels, brokers need to step up their game and work toward alleviating certain challenges such as inadequate policies, systems and procedures, internal controls as well as improper record-keeping and lack of business continuity plans,” he said.
Mr. Quayenortey also charged insurance brokers to help cut down the huge premium debts in the books of insurers, which has been threatening the liquidity and survival of insurers in particular, and the insurance industry as a whole.
This, he said, can be achieved when local insurance brokers call the attention of their multinational clients to the requirements of various national legislations.
President of Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA), Rev. Asante Marfo-Ahenkora, said the insurance industry in West Africa has reached a point where the relevance of such associations cannot be downplayed.
He said such associations are beneficial for networking as well as business development collaborations among member companies and continuous professionalism development through relevant educational lectures, thus setting industry benchmarks and enforceable ethical standards.
“By this way, conferences will be markedly relevant to member-companies, especially brokers, for them to get value for money while insurers will be better appreciative of the work of brokers.
“GIBA will continuously encourage brokers to join the forum as WAICA’s executive committee works assiduously to find common ground as they introduce innovative thematic areas of discussion and education that will be relevant to enhancing broking practice in West Anglophone Africa,” he said.