Mr Seth Eshun, Director of Supervision at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), which is the regulatory body for insurance companies in Ghana, has averred that though the insurance industry in Ghana has seen some level of improvement over the years, a lot of work has to be done to improve upon the image of the industry.
Mr Eshun, meanwhile, based his observation on the many complains his office had received over the years. He explained that although, these complaints are being addressed, there is still more work to be done in order to deal with the issues.
“The complaint unit within the NIC has over the years received several disturbing reports from customers of insurance companies over payment of claims.”Seth Eshun
Giving insight into the performance of the insurance industry, the Director of Supervision noted that for the past five years, the industry has made progress. However, Mr Seth Eshun stated that though, on the face of it, the insurance industry is making progress, the asset base of the industry continues to lag behind.
“If you look at the past five years, the industry grows averagely about 25 per cent every year which is very good. This is encouraging because, we don’t see such consistent growth in any sector in Ghana.
“But you look at our total asset base, around GHS8 billion and you compare that to the banks which is about, give or take, GHS150 billion. So our asset base is about five percent of that of the banks. Even though we are growing, there is still a lot of catching up.”Seth Eshun
Throwing more light on the numerous complaints NIC received, he said the National Insurance Commission has a department that handles complaint from the public about issues in the insurance industry.
“Traditionally, most of the complaints have to do with motor. But now, it is changing a bit. Traditionally, it was motor because we were paying premiums about 70 cedis for third party.”Seth Eshun
He further added that the premiums have greatly increased over the years.
“About four years ago, we increased the 70 Ghana cedis to about 327 Ghana Cedis. So, the insurance industry have a better capacity to pay claims. And so you see, this is a proof that the image of the insurance industry is improving but it has come from a very bad stage.”Seth Eshun
Mr Eshun stressed there is a bit more that needs to be done. “If you look at what we worry about, it was the same issues that happened to some of the banks and they went down.”
“Two companies were affected in the insurance industry. So there is work for all of us to do to ensure that those bad events do not spoil the state of the industry.”
“So the short answer to this is that, there have been a lot of growth but there are still issues about image that we need to address.”Seth Eshun
However, the Managing Director (MD) of Hollard Insurance, Daniel Boi Addo had ealier stressed the need for Ghanaians to be educated more about insurance companies and their policies to help improve the industry