The Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Justice Ofori, has advised Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) of insurance companies in the country to take advantage of the risk management opportunities occasioned by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the commissioner, these include the development of new products to meet the demands of the era as this will help them weather the storm against any unforeseen risks that may rear their ugly heads in the future.
Interacting with the top level Management of the country’s insurance industry at a capacity-building workshop organized for CEOs and CFOs of insurance companies, Mr. Ofori urged the participants to also pay particular attention to their financials in order to grow their business operations.
CEOs and CFOs of insurance companies were educated by seasoned insurance practitioners among others in various subjects during the 5-day workshop on how to handle business operations in the face of the pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19
Speaking on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the insurance industry, Mr. Ofori advised that, insurers should engage their clients in question-and-answer sessions regularly, as this will enable them know the prudence or otherwise of the risks they are accepting. This approach, he added, will also engender trust between the insurers and their clients.
Touching on the minimum capital, the Commissioner used the occasion to encourage companies to consider mergers as a strategy for struggling companies especially as the deadline to meeting the minimum capital of GH¢50million (i.e. for direct underwriters) fast approaches.
Minimum Capital Requirement
The announcement of the new minimum capital requirements (MCR) in June 2019 has provided the opportunity to insurance entities to adequately prepare to recapitalize by the June 30, 2021 deadline.
The new MCR is with the view to improving the operational efficiency and financial capacity of regulated entities to improve retention and profitability which will naturally culminate into prompt claims payment thus inspiring confidence amongst members of the insuring public. Mergers and acquisitions are possible strategic decisions that insurers may have to take in order to meet the new requirements.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has commenced the training of some 250 National Service Personnel posted to the Urban Traffic Management Unit of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service.
The training which forms part of the Commission’s structured agenda to create insurance awareness in the Country is expected to be replicated across all other Security Agencies.
Speaking at the launch of the training programme in Accra, the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Justice Yaw Ofori hinted: “it is worthy to note that today’s launch marks the commencement of series of insurance training programmes outlined and targeted at the Security Agencies i.e, the Police, the Military, Prisons, Fire Service, Immigration and other allied agencies”.
He further stated that this awareness creation approach by the Insurance Regulator “has the over-arching object of deepening financial literacy, as well as, expanding the financial inclusion net”.
The training of the service personnel which is being facilitated by the Ghana Insurance College is expected to equip them in the novel Motor Insurance Database (MID) in particular and insurance in general.
He admonished the participants to take the training seriously as “some of you may, at the end of the service, have the desire to develop a career in insurance which has abundant opportunities”.
Mr. Ofori pledged the continuous support of the NIC to collaborate with the Police in order to bring sanity on to our roads and the overall desire to bring insurance to the doorsteps of every Ghanaian.
On his part, the Director of the Ghana Insurance College, Mr. Richard Okyere disclosed that the College which is the main training arm of the Insurance Industry has so far trained an impressive 4,000 out of a targeted 10,000 since the NIC started the training of the youth as Insurance Agents in June 2019. This move, Mr. Okyere said, has created employment in the insurance industry for many young people.
In a keynote speech read on behalf of the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General, Private Security Organisations of the Police Service, COP Mr. Alphonse Adu-Amankwah advised the service personnel to take advantage of the many opportunities that abound in the insurance industry.
He disclosed that the Urban Traffic Management module was developed and implemented to support the MTTD to control and manage traffic within major towns and cities in Ghana. “So far the progress in terms of achievements has been tremendous”, he said.
He advised the participants to work assiduously as “this job is not an easy one. You need to be meticulous and very careful about how you go about your duties”, he cautioned.
The NIC is the supervisory and regulatory body of all insurance entities in Ghana backed by Act 2006 (Act 724) and has for some time now championed the training of all categories of persons as part of the Commission’s mandate of making everyone aware of the needs and benefits of insurance.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) says it will soon hit the metropolitan and district business enclaves of the country to intensify its sensitization and enforcement drive on the compulsory property insurance.
This was revealed by the Commissioner of the Insurance, Mr Justice Yaw Ofori, in a recent statement.
Mr Ofori indicated that though the Insurance Law, Act 724 of 2006 made it compulsory for privately owned business entities to insure their properties, many are yet to comply.
The law, per Sections 183 and 184, makes it mandatory for all commercial properties either under construction or completed, to have valid insurance certificates.
The compulsory property insurance is to provide financial protection against legal liabilities arising from accidents that cause property damage, bodily injury or death to the public. Occupiers (tenants) of commercial buildings can also benefit from taking fire insurance on their businesses because they may be held liable to the public.
The Insurance Commissioner cited the June 3, 2015 disaster as a typical example of a commercial property that should provide compensation to victims of the accident.
The impending enforcement exercise, he hinted is to ensure that Sections 183 and 184 of the Insurance Act are complied within the interest of owners, occupiers and the general public.
He lamented the fact that many people spend fortunes in setting up businesses but have a foot-dragging attitude towards paying a little premium to protect these investments. One needs not be an owner before legally insuring a property but an occupier has equal responsibilities too, he stressed.
“People who come on to your property to transact business are seen as invitees as such and you are responsible for their well-being,” he cautioned.
He used the opportunity to clear any ambiguity regarding what property insurance covers.
According to the Commissioner, property insurance is the same as fire insurance as the term is used interchangeably in certain western jurisdictions but conventionally acceptable anywhere in the world.
He also indicated that it is not only the peril, fire that is covered but other perils such as earthquake, flood, thunderstorm, burglary are all covered under fire insurance.
Justice Ofori stated that as a country, earth tremors occur and the Richter scale records between 2 to 3 tremors monthly without people noticing.
He said although the law was not specific about churches and other religious places of worship, it is important to have them insure their properties because they could be held liable for property damage, injuries or death to the public arising out of their negligence.
The Compulsory Commercial Property Insurance Taskforce comprises officials of the NIC and other relevant stakeholders such as the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana National Fire Service.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) together with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, will soon commence a nationwide exercise aimed at enforcing the Motor Insurance Database (MID) introduced by the NIC in January 2020.
The objective of the joint task force is to clamp down on patrons and dealers of fake motor insurance, in a bid to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on our roads, while protecting the interest of policyholders and the general public.
Motorists are, therefore, advised to ensure they have valid motor insurances in order to avoid a brush with the Law. Already, some unscrupulous persons allegedly dealing in fake insurance stickers are currently facing prosecution.
Training of Police MTTD Personnel
According to Mr Justice Yaw Ofori, Commissioner of Insurance, the Commission had completed a nationwide Training of Trainers (ToT) programme on the MID for some 400 personnel of the MTTD.
The MID, he stated, comes with electronic stickers with QR Codes and other security features, and makes it possible for the purchasers of motor insurance to receive real-time SMS, confirming the authenticity of their motor insurance policy.
Similarly, motorists as well as the general public, are also able to utilise a short code (*920*57#) to authenticate the validity of their insurance policies.
Mr. Ofori further stated that about 1,000 Gota phones (hand-held devices) are currently being configured with the necessary security features to aid the police in detecting the validity of motor insurance policies.
MID performance and challenges
On the performance of the MID, Mr Ofori stated that the system has recorded over 580,000 electronic stickers, so far, indicating the growing confidence in the system, as most Motorists now buy valid insurances with approved entities.
All old policies issued prior to January 20, 2020, have been uploaded onto the database, and their new electronic stickers will be issued upon renewal.
Benefits of the MID
Mr. Ofori noted the benefits of the MID to motorists, passengers, and the economy of Ghana would include:
MID and ‘Okada’ business
On the heels of a recently issued statement by the Commission to regulated insurance entities not to insure motorcycles and tricycles used to carry fare-paying passengers, Mr Ofori stated that the Laws of the country do not permit the carriage of fare-paying passengers by these cycles.
“We have to abide by the Law as clearly stipulated in Regulation 128 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180),” he cautioned.
Advice to the Public
Mr. Ofori admonished, particularly passengers, to ensure that before they board any commercial vehicle or accept lifts from anybody, they should check if the vehicle in question has valid insurance by dialing the MID short code *920*57#, to ensure they are adequately secured.
The National Insurance Commission, NIC, has vowed to clamp down on persons still engaged in the production of fake Motor Insurance stickers.
The Commission says these activities do not only violate its laws, but also put the lives of motorists and other persons at risk.
The NIC estimates that about 40 percent of vehicles on the roads are either not insured or are having fake insurance, hence the introduction of the Motor Insurance Database in January this year to deal with the menace.
However, some persons are still engaged in the illegality.
The Commission teamed up with the police to arrest a 24-year old man suspected to be part of a syndicate producing fake motor insurance stickers in Kumasi, the Commissioner of Insurance, Justice Ofori, said the NIC will keep working to sanitize the industry.
“This is an indication that the Commission is not resting, despite the introduction of the Motor Insurance database. We know that there are bad guys out there and whatever you do they will try to undermine it. The Kumasi operation was successful, and we are ready to embark on a similar operation anywhere in the country”he noted.
“We are working so much with the MTTD and we believe that with such a collaboration it will take us far so my advice to the bad guys is that they should stay out of this business. We are here to protect the insured and the general public and we would do whatever it takes to get this done” he stressed.
This year, the Commission has caused the arrests of a number of people issuing fake motor insurance stickers. These include the arrest of the Insurance Agent, 72-year old Nana Kodua Marfoh for submitting fake documents to the Kumasi Area Office of the National Insurance Commission (NIC).
Two Agents of MILLENNIUM INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED have also been arrested for possessing fake ALLIANZ INSURANCE sticker booklets also at the premises of the same Kumasi DVLA Office.
The NIC Motor Insurance Database
The Motor Insurance Database (MID) was implemented on January 1, 2020 with the objective to curb the menace of some unscrupulous persons issuing fake motor insurance to unsuspecting members of the general public thus endangering lives and property.
Currently, a total of 333,467 newly issued electronic stickers have been already captured on the MID portal since its implementation in January this year.
To Verify the Validity of your Motor Insurance
Follow the instructions by entering the vehicle registration number.
The Insurance industry in Ghana have made a total donation of One million one hundred and five thousand Ghana cedis (GHC1,105,000) to the COVID 19 Trust Fund.
This was in response to the clarion call made by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, after he had established the Covid-19 National Trust Fund with the view of soliciting support from Ghanaians, as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic.
The donors comprising the industry’s key stakeholders led by its regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NIC), included the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) and the Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG).
The rest are the Ghana Insurance College (GIC), the West Africa Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) [headquartered in Accra, Ghana] and the ECOWAS Brown Card Ghana Office.
The delegation led by the Commissioner of Insurance, Justice Ofori, also included the CIIG President, Rev. Asante Marfoh Ahenkorah; the IBAG President, Mrs Lena Adu-Kofi and the Director of the Ghana Insurance College (GIC), Richard Okyere.
Other members of the delegation were Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, Michael Kofi Andoh; second Vice-President of the GIA, Victor Obeng Adiyiah, and Chief Executive Officer of the ECOWAS Brown Card Office, Ghana, Mr Patrick Agyekum.
They indicated that this collective gesture was also triggered by the fact that as the main risk management machinery of the country’s economy, it was deemed necessary to support in the fight to protect its insureds and prospective ones, without whose existence the sector would be significantly affected.
Receiving the cheques presented variously to the Chairperson of the Fund, Madam Sophia Akuffo, expressed gratitude to the insurance industry for their thoughtfulness and commitment to support a worthy cause.
Donations into the Fund will, to a large extent, help in supplementing and complementing government’s effort in cushioning particularly the vulnerable in society, who may be affected by some of the tough measures outlined to deal with the pandemic.
The responses from corporate Ghana and some individuals have so far been encouraging.
As we are all aware, the world is facing a major health crisis in the form of coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the address of His Excellency the President to the nation on same, the Commission hereby wishes to draw your attention to the need to take urgent steps to protect your staff and customers.
In addition to the measures announced by the President, we wish to recommend the following;
We count on your cooperation to protect the health and lives of the staff and customers of the insurance industry.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has recorded over 78,000 newly insured vehicles as of February 17, since it implemented the Motor Insurance Database (MID).
The Commissioner of Insurance, Justice Yaw Ofori, disclosed this Monday, February 17, at a meeting with the Greater Accra Regional Executives of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of the Trades Unions Congress (TUC), paid a courtesy call on the management of the NIC, the regulator of insurance entities in Ghana.
The MID was implemented on January 1, 2020, and is providing a centralised system from which security agencies and the general public including passengers of vehicles can check the validity of vehicle insurance instantaneously.
The checks can be done through the use of a mobile phone, receipt of acknowledgement of transaction via a text message or by scanning a QR code on the insurance sticker by the Police MTTD.
Moved by their excitement at the new development, the GPRTU leaders lauded the NIC for its bold initiative and thought it had been long overdue.
The delegation, led by its Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Nii Ankrah, nonetheless expressed their concerns regarding their assumption that the premium rates have been increased particularly those being charged on 2020 registered vehicles.
The Commissioner of Insurance on his part, explained that premiums had not been increased but because insurance companies are now complying and charging the rightly regulated premiums on particularly the 2020 registered vehicles through the database effective January 1, 2020.
Mr Ofori bemoaned the situation when, in the past, some insurance companies were undervaluing vehicles and competed on prices rather than on service thus making it quite challenging for some of them to pay genuine claims promptly.
“Huge claims arising out of fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles had been a major headache for many insurance companies as they were not liquid enough to honour claims promptly resulting from the lower-than-regulated premiums they had charged in the past,” the Commissioner cited these as some of the reasons some members of the insuring public do not have confidence in insurance companies.
He, however, stated that with the MID, it is expected that insurance Companies will be in a better position to pay genuine claims promptly to the utmost protection of policyholders and innocent third parties.
The delegation expressed their delight at the move as it has been the challenge of the leadership of the GPRTU when their members fall victim to the menace fake insurance stickers. They lamented the situation where some of their unsuspecting member drivers were cowed into purchasing cheap motor insurance with stickers which looked exactly like the originals. The reality dawned on these drivers only after they were involved in accidents that warranted a claim which was repudiated by the Insurance Companies they were purported to have insurance cover with.
Mr Justice Ofori expressed his appreciation to the leadership, not just for their cooperation at the new development in the Insurance sector but also saw it as an issue of national importance and had embraced the initiative that would help sustain the livelihoods of families of accident victims economically.
Mr Ofori also hinted to the delegation that the NIC has since launched a nationwide training of Personnel of the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Division (MTTD) to enable a smooth enforcement of the database.
The Executives having received a conviction after having obtained these clarifications pledged their support to the Commission by way of educating their members so as not to fall prey to dealers of fake insurance and requested copies of the actual regulated premiums rates which they were provided.
The leaders of the driver union used the opportunity to intimate their plans of rolling out an educational campaign to their members to which the Commission had no objection with the Management pledging their unflinching support to one of its biggest stakeholders – the GPRTU.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) which is the Regulatory and Supervisory Body of the Insurance services sector with a broad consumer and prudential regulatory mandate under Section 2(3) of the Insurance Act 2006, (Act 724) wishes to bring to the notice of the general public that it has commenced the implementation of the Motor Insurance Database (MID), effective 1st January 2020.
The objective of the introduction of the Motor Insurance Database (MID) is to curb the menace of vehicles with fake motor insurance stickers plying our roads, thus endangering lives and property.
Click on the link below to download the press release on the implementation of the Motor Insurance Database (MID)
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has commended the National Insurance Commission (NIC) on its bold implementation of the Motor Insurance Database (MID). The objective of the MID is to curb the phenomenon of vehicles with fake motor insurance stickers plying our roads, thus endangering lives and property. He made these is remarks when the top Management of the NIC led by the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Justice Yaw Ofori paid a courtesy call on him at the Police Headquarters. Also present at the meeting was the Director-General of the Motor Traffic & Transport Division (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, COP Mrs. Beatrice Vib-Sanziri.
In his remarks, the IGP stated that this initiative was long overdue and could not have come at a better time. He bemoaned the carnage on our roads being recorded at such alarming rate barely a few days into the new year as worrisome. IGP Oppong-Boanuh further called on the NIC to expedite action on the training of the Officers, Police Officers of the MTTD on the MID across the Country for a more effective and successful implementation.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr Justice Ofori commended the Police for being a key stakeholder in the motor insurance space as regards enforcement without which the industry would have suffered a huge setback. Mr Ofori assured the IGP and for that matter the Police Service of the insurance Industry’s unrelenting support towards an enhanced collaboration.
“The NIC will collaborate with the MTTD as they conduct random checks across the lengths and breadths of the country to rid our roads of uninsured vehicles with fake insurance stickers”, the Commissioner intimated.
It is instructive to note that the number of uninsured vehicles on our roads are not easily detectable by the Police and this has caused many lives and property – a situation that warranted the development and ultimate implementation of this database.
It is expected that this will provide the much needed vehicle for increased insurance penetration in the country; thus, contributing to real economic growth.
It would be recalled that the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia made a formal declaration on this all-important digital database in December 2019 and its swift implementation by the NIC is a demonstration of the Regulator’s resolve to ensure consumer protection and prudent solvency of the insurance sector as stipulated in the Article 2 (3) of the Insurance Act 2006 (Act 724) and plugging the loopholes couldn’t have been this timely.
Present at the meeting were other top Officials of the Ghana Police Service and the NIC.