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.