NIC hits target of training 10,000 youth

NIC hits target of training 10,000 youth

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) in partnership with the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) and supported by Graphic Communications, have launched the maiden edition of the Insurance Fair.

The Insurance Fair, which is expected to be an annual event where insurance companies will get the opportunity to showcase insurance products and services to the public, is in furtherance of the industry’s celebration of ‘Insurance Awareness Month.’

Speaking at the launch of the Insurance Fair, Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori, encouraged the Ghanaian populace to sign on to insurance policies provided by insurance firms to get protection against unforeseen and unfortunate incidents.

Adding that, the public should take advantage of the Fair to interact with insurance companies to get tailored insurance products that suit their needs.

Also speaking at the launch was the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr. Ato Afful, who remarked that Graphic Communications is happy to support the NIC, GIA and all insurance firms in the country to educate the general public on the relevance of insurance and ultimately engender insurance uptake among the public.

Meanwhile, the former President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), Mr. Emmanuel Baba Mahama, delivering a public lecture at the launch of the Insurance Fair, tasked insurance firms in the country to change the prevalent “reverse insurance culture” of Ghanaians.

The “reverse insurance culture”, Mr. Mahama noted, is common among Ghanaians in both rural communities and urban centres.

The reverse insurance culture, he explained, exists in the form of Ghanaians receiving some monetary support or having something to fall back on to finance or mitigate risks or disasters when they occur.

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has expressed its commitment to developing and providing tailor-made insurance products for trader groups operating in the country.

According to the Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Ofori, he believes the move is necessary to help safeguard the lives, property and businesses of these groups which play a significant role in the Ghanaian economy.

Delivering remarks following a courtesy call paid on him by the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG), Dr Justice Ofori underscored the importance of insurance and sensitisation of products for traders’ groups.

“We are ever ready to help you insure all members of TAGG, and in view of that we are ready to design tailored insurance products for your members, and also to let us know what the needs of your members are and we will develop products to suit them”, Dr Ofori assured.

President of the TAGG David Kwadwo Amoateng on his part, also called on the insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) and the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) to help insure its members.

He said TAGG is ready to collaborate with these institutions in order to insure its 7,000 members against risks that may affect their business operations.

“Most Traders are not insured because they have not been educated about insurance and its relevance and that is why they are not doing it. But if you educate them about insurance benefits, they will definitely sign on to it,” Amoateng said.

He continued “so insurance companies should not say that Traders are difficult to deal with and all that, we do want to insure our businesses and mitigate risks”.

The TAGG president added that insuring over 7,000 of its registered members across the country will help improve insurance penetration in Ghana.

Traders Advocacy Group Ghana is solely responsible for protecting the trade rights of its members operating in the country.

Other Insurance Industry Executives who welcomed TAGG were Seth Aklasi, President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), and Shaibu Ali, President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG)

Dr. Justice Ofori, the Commissioner of Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NIC) has disclosed that the Motor Insurance Database (MID) which was introduced in January 2020 has recorded 3,005,283 vehicles so far on the portal. The portal is a repository of validly insured vehicles in the country. He made this disclosure when he led the various NIC regional offices to present an undisclosed quantity of reflectors to the Motor Traffic & Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service for purposes of visibility. These reflectors are meant to aid the Police in their enforcement with the view to reducing the worrying carnage on our roads. The Police MTTD statistics indicated that for the period January to February 2022, 469 deaths were recorded and these figures are depressing.

The Regions that benefitted from this gesture of the NIC included the Central, Western North, Ashanti and Bono Regions. The Commissioner used the opportunity to thank the MTTD for their unwavering support for the NIC’s mandate towards public education. He indicated that the deployment of the MID has significantly helped in getting rid of miscreants perpetrating the phenomenon of dealing in fake insurance policies from the system though there is still more work to be done.

In the Central Regions, Dr. Ofori joined forces with the Officers as they hit the roads to educate and sensitise motorists and commuters on the need for them to ensure that vehicles plying our roads have valid motor insurances by dialing short code *920*57# for verification.

The Commissioner used the opportunity to encourage the Police and the NIC Regional Managers in their specific jurisdictions to continuously collaborate in intensifying the public education drive on insurance.

In the Ashanti Region, Dr. Justice Ofori led the Compensation Fund Committee to provide education to the general public on what to do in the event of being involved in accidents with vehicles carrying fake insurances.

In a related development, the Commissioner also engaged Representatives of all insurance entities in the Ashanti Region. During the interactions, he shared with them developments in the insurance industry that will inure to the benefit of all especially policyholders. He admonished them to exhibit the highest level of professionalism with the view to engender trust and confidence among members of the insuring public.

Latest research conducted by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has shown that the confidence of Ghanaians in insurance is on the rise.

It is perceived – though subject to debate– that most people view their insurance providers with ambivalence.

“The overriding perception of insurance companies is that they are very needed, but not liked, relied on, but not trusted,” the NIC said.

As the regulator of the insurance companies operating in the jurisdiction, the NIC conducted surveys to understand the people’s perception about insurance to effectively make policy decisions that benefits all.

In its Confidence index report, the Commission found that data increased to an all-time high since its first public perception, awareness and confidence index in 2019.

“The Confidence Index (CI) however has seen significant increase, rising to an all-time high of 0.5813 from 0.5666 in 2020 and 0.4650 in 2019.”

The confidence index 0.5813 is higher than the 2020 estimate by 1.5 percentage points.

The data was collected from a sample size of 1613 also showed that contrary to the confidence index, the knowledge index has saw a downward trend over the three-year study period.

“Knowledge index in 2019 stood at 0.5992. The figure in 2020 was 0.5392 while the knowledge index recorded in 2021 was 0.5132.”

Some Ghanaian celebrities drawn from the worlds of the arts, entertainment, sports and social media producers have called on the Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori to let insurance companies design products that will help protect their professions.

They made this call when the Insurance Regular organized a workshop on the PRINCIPLES OF INSURANCE for a mix of the Celebrities.
The Celebs were of the opinion that all of them use parts of their bodies in performing their arts hence the need to protect these parts. For example, one opines, that a music artiste needs an insurance to protect his or her voice; so is a footballer who needs to protect his or her feet / legs. Some others also interestingly called for the design of insurance protection against marriage breakdown.

In his response, the Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori who hosted them at the Head Office of the NIC in Accra, hinted that there are policies available on the Ghanaian insurance market that are tailored for these unforeseen mishaps embedded in Disability Insurances. “The definition of disability may vary depending on the part of the body that earns the Celebrity regular income. For instance, a footballer whose source of income is playing of football can be described under the disability policy as incapable of playing football once he can no longer (temporarily or permanently) be able to earn an income as a result of a bad injury. Similarly, a singer could be described as incapable of singing if he or she loses the voice. All of these can be defined variously under the disability insurance”, Dr. Ofori disclosed.

Some participants made reference to a famous Ghanaian actor who has lost his voice over the years and the effects this is having on his career. They were excited by Dr. Ofori’s disclosure that these policies are available on the Ghanaian market and that insurance companies should be more proactive in approaching them.

The Celebrities who attended the workshop included David Dontoh and Gyedu-Blay Ambulley, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Abeiku Santana, Zionfelix, Okyeame Quame, Jackline Mensah, Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo, Rosemond Brown (Akuapem Poloo), Yvonne Nelson, Cece Twum, Ohemaa Mercy and Habiba Sinare. Others were Ameyaw Debrah, Benedicta Gafah and Rabby Blay.
George Quaye (Aboagye), Quame Eugene, GhKwaku, Vicky Zugah, Winston Martin, Bosom Pyung, Nana Asaase, Ishew Stephen Tetteh Charway among others also attended the workshop. Some event organisers from CharterHouse also sought to know the types of insurance policies that will be ideal for them to which the Commissioner immediately indicated that, on top of their priority list should be a public liability insurance which will serve their purpose.
Participants were presented with certificates.

The NIC is Ghana’s insurance industry regulator and has over the past few years been engaging personalities in all working categories to have a fair understanding and appreciation of insurance as a risk mitigating mechanism.

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has revealed plans of introducing regulations to guide the operations of technology-based insurance start-ups (insurtechs) in the country.

Speaking at a Demo Day event for the Ghana Innolab Insurtech Accelerator Programme in Accra, the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, Michael Kofi Andoh, said although the new Insurance Act 2021 (Act 1061), had extensive provisions for the operation of insurtechs in the country, the regulations that would give impetus for issuing innovative licenses were yet to be finalised.

He said the NIC was committed to issuing regulations with appropriate safeguards that would give comfort to the market.

“While insurtechs have the potential to transform the delivery of insurance services, it is always a balancing act for regulators around the world, who need to consider how best to reap its benefits, while providing safeguards for fair customer treatment, governance and security,” he stated.

Leveraging innovative solutions

The Deputy Commissioner also noted that the introduction of insurtechs in the country would offer stakeholders the opportunity to leverage on innovative solutions to enhance the insurance sector and businesses.

“This will enable and deepen access to insurance which is a critical component of the economy, livelihood and businesses at large. The yet to be finalized regulations will also develop the insurance market landscape,” he stated.

He therefore urged insurance companies operating in the country to partner with insurtechs in order to help transform the delivery of insurance services in the country.

Innolab Insurtech Accelerator Programme

Launched in January, 2022 by the NIC, with partnership from GIZ, the Innolab Insurtech Accelerator Programme is designed to help grow the country’s insurtech start-ups, while also unlocking innovations that could help transform the insurance industry.

The programme selected 10 innovators, who were taken through a 10-week training to help them scale up.

In support of the programme, the GIZ, through its Financial Systems Development component, supported the three winning firms with €20.000 each to further develop their innovative solutions into sustainable insurance products and services to promote financial inclusion and drive Ghana’s insurance industry forward

Mr Andoh said the NIC was convinced that all the ten selected firms would be agents of the change needed for the transformation of the industry.

“For the industry players, this programme is an enabler for potential partnerships between your good selves and this cohort of insurtechs, to leverage their innovative solutions to support your business processes.

“Globally, there is a growing shift in the way insurance business is done, particularly in risk transfer, insurance distribution, and customer experience. Therefore harnessing innovation continues to be an essential element of the strategic policy objectives of the NIC,” he stated.

Tackling insurance challenges

Also speaking at the demo day, the Head of Programme for the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development (PSED) at GIZ, Detlev Axel Jahn, said insurtechs played an integral role in tackling the country’s insurance challenges.

He said they also played a role in developing technology-based solutions with social impact.

“We live in a period of rapid change, driven by innovation and technology. Our capacity to utilise these innovations will depend on how fats and how often we learn.

“I am confident that these kinds of accelerator programmes, if coordinated often, will give us opportunities to discover and adapt present day advancements, to change and overcome the current and future challenges of the insurance industry,” he pointed out.

He said the global insurance industry was being disrupted with innovation, to which creatives and insurtech start-ups have assumed key roles.

Importance of digitisation

The Head of Insurance and Pensions at the Ministry of Finance, Patience Arko Boham, for her part, said the government acknowledges the importance of digitisation and innovation in the financial ecosystem and as such, had put in place various measures to ensure the financial ecosystem was robust and could respond to the changing needs of the global economy.

She said recognising the role of digitisation and innovation as a means of access to relevant and affordable financial services was very critical.

In this regard, she said the government had formulated the National Financial Inclusion and Development Strategy (NFIDS) and had complemented it with the Digital Financial Services (DFS) policy and a digital payment roadmap to serve as a blueprint for attaining a digitised society.

She said the digitised roadmap was designed to chart the way to a vibrant and inclusive digital payment ecosystem that would provide Ghanaians with financial tools tailored to suit their needs.

The Commissioner of Insurance of the National Insurance Commission, Dr. Justice Ofori has joined hands with COP Mr. Francis Aboagye Nyarko, Director-General of the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service in a swoop in the Eastern Region to clamp down on vehicles carrying with them fake motor insurance policies.

The sensitization and enforcement exercise saw over 120 vehicles stopped and inspected by the two big wigs and other Senior Police Officers of the MTTD.

Out of the number of vehicles checked, close to 20 were found to have been carrying fake insurance policies.

The drivers of these vehicles were immediately provided instant insurance policies by insurance companies present before they were allowed to continue with the journey to their various destinations.

The exercise climaxed a nationwide Training of Trainers (ToT) and orientation programme organised for top Commanders of the MTTD on the MID.

Training programme

Addressing participants at event, Dr. Justice Ofori commended the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare for ensuring that the Motor Insurance Database (MID) was a success.

Meanwhile, the Senior Police Officers (SPO’s) were drawn from all 18 administrative regions of the GPS for the training programmes.

The purpose is to extend the training on the MID exclusively to cover the SPO’s within the MTTD in order to provide them with knowledge of MID, which has been a game changer for insurance sector and for road traffic investigative purposes.

The MID which was launched in 2020 seeks to curb the disruptive incidents of fake insurance stickers in the system.

It will also lead to the realization that developing technology impacts innovation and has the potential to change the insurance industry.

Dr. Justice Ofori indicated that: “the use of the MID for enforcement on our roads has not only provided support to the insurance industry but I believe it is also helping the Police in their road traffic investigations with the view to protect innocent lives and property. Drivers and vehicle owners have become more cautious and no longer susceptible to the modus operandi of fraudsters,” he disclosed.

He further added that the recent spate of road crashes has become a major concern for Ghanaians as the rate of deaths and injuries are still worrying though a reduction in the figures compared to last year’s.

“As stakeholders, the Police and the NIC can only work together to help minimize the canker and also to ensure that adequate compensations are paid to affected victims through valid insurance claims”, the Commissioner admonished.

Meanwhile, available statistics from the Police MTTD point to the fact that the months of January and February 2022 have seen a reduction in the number of deaths on our roads which stand at 469 as against 517 during the same period last year.

The Director-General of the MTTD, COP Mr. Nyarko on his part commended the NIC for its commitment and resolve in continuously supporting the Police in the enforcement of the Road Traffic Act 1958.

“As a result of our partnership with the NIC, there has been a great improvement in our road traffic policing. The Commission has been our old time stakeholders and sponsor. They have been assisting us a lot in terms of training programmes to make sure that we bring a level of sanity on our roads. There has been a monumental improvement in terms of traffic management”, he pointed out.

The orientation programmes are a follow up to the nationwide Training of Trainers (ToT) seminars organized for FRONTLINE MTTD Officers in the past two years.

The programme has the overarching objective to expose the MTTD Commanders to be in the position to understand, interpret and enforce the dynamics of the MID in the discharge of their duties in supervisory roles.

The training covered an overview of the MID since its introduction and how to use the GoTa phones to detect fake insurance stickers, review of operational activities on the enforcement of the MID among others.

It is expected that the MTTD Commanders in all the Regions will act as effective and efficient supervisors in the dispensation of the software and the prompt issuance of police accident reports to victims in pursuance of their insurance compensations.

It is worthy to note that this is the first time a Commissioner of Insurance has taken steps to consciously partner the Police in this joint efforts on the roads to ensure that lives of innocent people are saved.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori has been inducted into the prestigious Corporate Ghana CEOs Hall of Fame.

The colorful induction ceremony was held on March 4, 2022, at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra.

The induction which was organized by the Business Executive also recognized some other prominent CEOs of high repute who have demonstrated, in various ways, exemplary leadership roles in their contribution to the growth of the economy.

Dr. Justice Ofori was decorated by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Malta to Ghana, His Excellency Jean Claude Galea Mallia, with a citation and a plaque.

Dr. Ofori has been in the limelight for some time now since he assumed the role of the Commissioner of Insurance and has spearheaded the transformation of the insurance industry into what it is today.

Through his exemplary leadership and managerial acumen, he did not miss the lenses of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

The GJA therefore, conferred on him an honorary Member of the Association during its 25th Awards in recognition of his contribution to insurance education in the country and for his lead role in the introduction of the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to curb the phenomenon of fake motor insurances in the country with the view to saving innocent lives.

Dr. Ofori was also lauded for his Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that brought together all insurance players and their employees in Ghana to donate blood to stock the country’s blood banks.

He subsequently declared the month of August of every year as the Ghana Insurance Industry Blood Donation month. The NBS subsequently awarded him for his initiative that yielded 802 units of blood making the insurance industry the highest corporate donor of blood in 2021.

The West Africa Nobles Forum (WANF) in 2021 also presented Dr. Ofori with a Nobles International Award for being an Eminent West African who upholds the virtues of Honesty, Integrity and Accountability.

He was also adjudged the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Year, 2021 by the Ghana Leadership Awards.

Dr. Ofori currently serves on the boards of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the West African Insurance Institute (WAII) Governing Board and is an Executive Committee Member of the ECOWAS Brown Card Council of Bureaux.

Dr. Ofori chairs the Governing Council of the Ghana Insurance College (GIC), the institution he had grown to become the foremost insurance professionals training institution in Ghana. He is a Fellow of the West African Insurance Institute (WAII), The Gambia and a Member of the Implementing Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

As a proud Vandal (old student Commonwealth Hall of the University of Ghana), he is the President of the Old Vandals Association, Accra.

In a post-induction interview with the media, the celebrated Commissioner of Insurance did indicate that the core mandate of the NIC is the protection of the interest of insurance policyholders to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

He dedicated the award to Staff of the NIC and the Insurance Industry as a whole for their relentless support in ensuring that the insurance sector is strengthened.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Ofori has disclosed that coverage of insurance as of December 31, 2020, stands at 44.6 per cent.

This means nearly 50 per cent of the working population of Ghana has one form of insurance or the other.

He disclosed this when the National Insurance Commission (NIC) in collaboration with the Ghana Prisons Service launched the training of Prisons Officers and Recruits on the basic principles of Insurance and Risk Management.

“I am delighted to disclose that following these efforts, the number of working Ghanaians who have one form of insurance or the other stands at 44.6 percent as of the end of year 2020. This is a phenomenal increase of 14.6 percent over the 2019 figure.”

Dr. Justice Ofori noted that “The NIC’s objectives and functions per Sections 2 and 3 of the Insurance Act 2021, (Act 1061), include supporting and encouraging financial inclusion, promoting public awareness and undertaking public education on insurance. This launch for Prisons Cadet Officers and Recruits is therefore a priority to the Commission.”

He added that “The training will centre on the basic principles of insurance as well as highlights of various lines of insurance that will inure to the benefit of these Officers throughout their lives and career in the Service. The future can only be brighter for the industry that serves as a risk management mechanism for individuals and organisations such as the Ghana Prisons Service. The risk your Officers are exposed to on a daily basis are quite known”.

The Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Isaac Kofi Egyir, on his part commended the NIC for its decisive resolve to provide literacy on insurance to Officers of all security agencies, including the Ghana Prisons Service in the country.

“The Ghana Prisons Service appreciates the commitment of the Commissioner of Insurance, to educate officers on the essence of insurance. We as a Service look forward to enjoying more avenues of collaboration that will make our Officers more knowledgeable about insurance and to put them in a better position to benefit from the various types of insurance,” he noted.

He further stated that “We agree that an informed appreciation of insurance will help, to a large extent, every Prison Officer to mitigate the effects of some of the life mishaps. Working with such information, we believe, will benefit not only Officers but their families and the people they supervise.”

The launch of the training forms part of the Commission’s structured campaign to create insurance awareness and is an on-going campaign across all other Security Agencies and allied bodies.

Dr. Ofori pledged continuous collaboration with the Ghana Prisons Service in order to provide more sensitisation on the need for insurance uptake.

Director of the Ghana Insurance College, Mr Richard Okyere disclosed that the College has so far trained over 400 chartered insurers.

This move, Mr. Okyere reiterated, has created employment in the insurance industry for many young people.

The NIC is the supervisory and regulatory body of Ghanaian insurance industry and has for some time now championed the training of key categories of personnel as part of the Commission’s mandate of making everyone aware of the needs and benefits of insurance

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has achieved its target of training 10,000 youth as Insurance Sales persons for Ghana’s Insurance Industry. The training of the youth as insurance agents was instituted by the Commission in 2019 as part of its initiatives to help them develop careers in the insurance profession.

Dr. Justice Ofori, the Commissioner of Insurance, made this disclosure on the sidelines of a training programme organised for some 70 National Service Personnel by the NIC in collaboration with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi. Impressed with the level of enthusiasm and interest shown by the youth which has culminated into these numbers, Dr. Ofori was excited about the fact that the target of 10,000 youth has been achieved just a few years after the commencement of the training programmes. He used the opportunity to encourage the youth to pursue careers in insurance as the industry presents them with a lot of potentials for personal and national development.

He commended the Ghana Insurance College (GIC) which facilitated these training programmes and continues to do so across the country.  The Ghana Insurance College is Ghana’s premier Insurance training institution established in 2006 by the NIC, Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG) and the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) with the view to providing the manpower needs for the insurance industry. The institution has since trained thousands of people out of which about 350 have attained the Chartered Insurance status. Apart from insurance industry players, the College runs programmes for other professionals such as Lawyers, Medical Practitioners, Engineers, Public Servants, Bankers, Accountants, etc.

Speaking on the need for collaboration between the NIC and the Police MTTD at the training launch of National Service Personnel posted to the MTTD, Dr. Ofori underscored the importance of providing education on insurance to all categories of people to enable them appreciate the importance of insurance as a risk management mechanism. “We realized that there is the need to demystify insurance and to do so, the first group of people we need to deal with are the Police and other security agencies. With the Police, though the law stipulates clearly that people should not drive motor vehicles without insurance on our roads, the NIC together with the insurance companies cannot, on their own, enforce the law hence the collaborative support of the police” he intimated.