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Business News of Saturday, 28 June 2014

Source: GNA

Ghana Insurers Association swears in new executives

The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) has sworn in 11-member executives to steer the affairs of the Association for the next two years.

The Association has Mr Ivan A. Avereyireh, the Managing Director of Ghana Life Insurance Company Limited (GIF) as President and will be assisted by Mr Kwame Ofori, First Vice President and Chairman, General Insurance Council as well as Mr Edward Forkuo Kyei, Second Vice President and Chairman, Life Insurance Council.

Other members of the Association who were also inaugurated were Mr Alfred Yaw Kuragu, Managing Director, Glico General Insurance, Madam Linda Osei Akoto, Managing Director NSIA Ghana Insurance Company, Mr Patrick Ageykum, the Managing Director Provident General Insurance Company and Aziz Tiibu Rayamah, the Managing Director UT Life Insurance Company.

The others are Mr Kwasi Offeh, Managing Director Ghana Union Life, George Addison Managing Director Star Life Insurance Company, Mr Kwame Gazo Agbenyadzie, Managing Director, Metropolitan Insurance Co Ltd and Mr Atsu Menyawovor, Managing Director GIA.

Mr Ivan A. Avereyireh commended the past executives' good performance and promise to work for the greater good of the Insurance Industry. He said his major objective as the President of GIA was to improve Insurance penetration in Ghana by increasing it from 1.5% to 3%.

He would also work on the poor perception among the public about the insurance industry. Mr Avereyireh noted that because the service insurance companies provide services that touch every aspect of human endeavour members of the Association must work hard to improve the trust and confidence of the people.

He said for members to be able to restore confidence they must go back to the basics and ensure professionalism and adherence to high ethical standards in dealing and engaging with the insuring public. He said members must also re-orient their staff and agent to appreciate the fact that their actions, inactions, omissions and commissions fuel the negative perception the public has about the industry.

Mr Avereyireh called for the development of a strategic plan to build the capacity of their staff and sales agent to ensure that their engagement with the public at all times meet acceptable standards.

Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, Insurance Commissioner, said even though the insurance industry had been growing at an average rate of about 30% per annum over the past six years the penetration rate is still below 2%.

She said the industry still grapples with serious market conduct challenges such as undercutting, dissatisfactory claim management which adversely affect the confidence and trust levels of the public and insurance. She said the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has embarked on a number of initiatives to improve the efficiency of Insurance service delivery and provide effective and sustainable solution to the challenge facing the industry.

Ms Bawa said one main initiative is the adoption of risk based supervision which makes it the duty of the board of directors and the senior management of every insurance company to identify, evaluate and manage the risks associated with the business of the company.

She announced that the NIC was working on a new bill to provide the needed legal platform for the effective implementation of risk based supervision. She said the proposed legislation is intended to establish an appropriate risk management control function which would include internal audit, risk management, and actuarial and compliance functions.

Ms Bawa said plans were underway to build the capacity of the Ghana Insurance College to provide hands on training to individuals who would want the various control functions. She said work on the risk based capital adequacy frame work which links an insurer’s capital requirement to how effectively it manages risk is far advanced.

She said the NIC would issue a revised draft for final comment by the end of next week while the final frame work which is expected to be issued by the end of July 2014 would take effect from the second quarter of 2015.