Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Mr Justice Yaw Ofori has attributed the low state of marine insurance in Ghana to the insurance Act.
According to him, although the Insurance Act, 2006, (Act 724) required all goods being imported into Ghana to be insured by Ghanaian insurance companies, the act did not enjoin persons to purchase the cover.
Mr. Ofori was speaking at a training workshop on marine insurance delivery for stakeholders in the industry at Ada in the Greater Accra Region
The insurance commissioner was however hopeful that the workshop would enable insurers to re-strategise and provide solutions “to enhance local marine insurance content, nurture local marine insurance experts and influence policymakers on the need to develop marine insurance in Ghana”.
“It is important that maritime traders and importers embrace the patronage of local marine insurance cover for the growth of our economy,” he stated.
On her part, President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), Mrs Aretha Duku said her outfit was poised to develop and lobby legislators to pass a law which will promote the patronage of marine insurance products and services in Ghana.
She posited that GIA was feverishly preparing to present a Marine Act to Parliament to, among others, bridge the gap between the heavy importations and premiums paid by the insurers.
She said that GIA’s research had shown that in countries where marine business was booming, such as Nigeria, “there is a Marine Act in place to support the business so it is our hope that we will lobby all stakeholders to develop a marine law which will help grow the marine business”.
The three-day programme was to build the capacity of marine insurers, inform policymakers and facilitate compliance with the Insurance Act by marine transporters, maritime traders and importers.
She lamented the low penetration of the marine class, coupled with the already low penetration of the entire industry, adding that “growth of marine insurance is almost non-existent, in spite of significant growth in imports”.
The dwindling patronage of marine insurance, Mrs Duku said, is attributed to “some dynamics at the point of entry”.
Mrs Duku, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Union Assurance (GUA), disclosed that the association was in talks with NIC, to consider making marine insurance compulsory. The GIA, she indicated, was proposing that marine be considered compulsory in the amendment of the Insurance Act (724), “which is ambiguous”.
As part of its 30th anniversary, the association will prominently create awareness on marine insurance and collaborate with the media to help promote that product.
Insurance with KOFI OWUSU TAWIAH
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