Considering the potential for growth and the apparent dearth of skill in the area of Life Insurance, the need for capacity building in Life Insurance cannot be underestimated, Mr Gustav Siale, Managing Director of Ghana Re, has noted. Mr Siale, who was speaking at a Life Claims Management Seminar organised by Ghana Re in collaboration with Munich Re in Accra on Tuesday, said it was only through training that the capacity of insurance practitioners would be built to face the many challenges flowing from the demands of an increasingly sophisticated clientele.
He said claims management was very germane to the smooth operation of any insurance company and expressed the hope that by virtue of the training, the handling of claims would improve tremendously and help improve the image of insurance business in Ghana.
Mr Siale assured all clients that Ghana Re would not hesitate to enter into partnerships with reputable companies that could help it add value to the services it provided.
Opening the Seminar, Ms Lydia Bawa, Commissioner for Insurance and Guest Speaker for the occasion, urged life insurance companies to fully discharge the responsibility of making prompt payments to beneficiaries.
On the other hand, Ms Bawa said, companies should protect the company, industry and the general public from abuses associated with the payment of benefits by guarding against the payment of fraudulent claims.
She noted that the enactment and implementation of the Insurance Act, 2006 (Act 724) had resulted in remarkable changes in the structure, competition, efficiency and the growth of the industry.
She said apart from compliance with the core principles of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the law had strengthened the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to provide a robust insurance regulatory environment.
Ms Bawa said the insurance industry in Ghana continued to experience a steady growth at an annual average rate of about 32.0 per cent in premium income over the past five years.
She said the total market premium recorded by the Ghana Insurance Market for the year 2013 amounted to GHC 1.051 billion while the premium output from the Life Insurance was GHC 458.825 million, with that from the Non-Life Insurance put at GHC582.458 million, representing 44.60 per cent and 55.40 per cent, respectively.
She said as at December 2013, there were forty-two licensed insurance companies, inclusive of 17 life companies operating in the country, with a combined estimate penetration rate of 1.5 per cent.
The Ghanaian insurance industry, Ms Bawa said, trended with the global industry in terms of growth and although a greater percentage of total industry premiums were generated from the Non-Life Insurance.
She said available statistics indicated that the average percentage growth in premiums from Life Insurance outweighed that of the Non-Life Insurance.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)