Shippers importing cargo into Ghana stand to gain cost savings in foreign exchange if they shift to purchase insurance from local industry players to underwrite their risk exposures.
These insurance protocols are to ensure adherence to the Insurance Act.2006 (Act 724), which requires that, with the express exception of personal belongings – all goods being imported into Ghana must necessarily be insured in Ghana.
Charles Ansong Dankyi further asserted that aside foreign currency cost savings, other important benefits associated with Shippers patronizing such local insurance packages include value for money for right premium, right insurance cover and quick claims payment.
The NIC is creating a database that will be shared with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to authenticate any insurance certificate from insurance companies to shippers, Charles Ansong Dankyi mentioned.
Commenting on the issue, Dr. Joseph Obeng, President of Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), asserted that it behoves on insurance companies to draft flexible policies that would attract importers to buy local insurance.
Additionally, many importers tend to shy away from local insurance policy packages for their goods because sometimes the benefits or incentives attached to these policies are sometimes unattractive.
“Among ourselves, we know that we have to get local insurance; because many of the foreign insurance we buy, we are unable to comprehend the content with some of them in foreign languages that we cannot read.
“What we are asking local insurers to do is provide simple and good deals. That is what will attract more of us to buy”.
The GUTA President further appealed to insurers to assiduously handle issues that will come up in future to create more confidence among stakeholders.
Benonita Bismarck, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), sharing her thoughts opined that “Marine insurance occupies an important position in overseas trade and commerce. While affording protection against unfortunate losses, it also helps shippers transfer a significant component of their risks to insurers.
“Shippers importing cargo into Ghana have very little control in the rates of premium they pay abroad, and most often, these insurance premiums are relatively high. Where the insurance is taken abroad and there arises a need for a claim, the process is fraught with delays and extra costs to the shipper.”
The opportunity has been provided in the Insurance Act for Shippers to take insurance locally for their imports.
The GSA CEO finally urged Shippers in the country to underwrite their cargo insurance locally, as this provides enormous benefits to them in the form of easy access to the insurance market and prompt payment of claims, should the need arise.
The Head of Freight and Logistics of the GSA, Fred Asiedu-Dartey, assured the GUTA leadership of the authority’s preparedness to work with stakeholders in addressing any concerns that arise.
“The GSA is poised to see this succeed; hence, we are giving it all the attention it deserves so that we can help create a better shipping environment for locals”.