Regulating the insurance industry; policy holders give testimonies

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Insurance

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has opened an office in the Bono Region to facilitate engagement with policyholders.

“The decision to set up a regional office in the capital of the Bono region was a strategic one. Known to be an important hub for the distribution of agrarian products and for commerce, Sunyani has grown rapidly and has a thriving economy”, says Dr Justice Yaw Ofori, the Commissioner of Insurance.

He added “it is not surprising, therefore, that when the time came to consider the next location for a branch of the insurance regulator, Sunyani was at the top of the list”.

Ceremony

The colourful ceremony for the official inauguration of the regional office took place at the frontage of regional office located at the New SSNIT and was attended by players in the insurance industry.

It was climaxed with exciting testimonies from policyholders who had had problems in collecting their claims from insurance companies.

Testimonies

“In 2001, my vehicle had an accident with a taxi in Accra. That time I was on my way to London so I left the matter to the police to handle.

“When I returned from the UK, I got to know the taxi driver was guilty, so I took my car to the mechanics and funded the repair work”, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Baba Sanid Adamu, the Deputy Bono Regional Police Commander, narrated his experience.

He said all attempts he made to claim the reimbursement from the Insurance Company was unsuccessful, and I was fed up because “they were tossing me up and down.

“So I told a colleague, and he recommended NIC to me. I did not even go to their office in Accra, but complained through an email, and with few hours, the commission gave me a feedback, arranged a meeting between me and the company.

“Shockingly, the insurance company made my cheque ready within one week and I went for my claims. I was over excited and I will thank the NIC to continue with the good job”, he added.

For Mrs Diana Durowaa Kwarteng, a Deputy Superintendent of Prisons (DSP) at the Sunyani Central Prisons, she had challenging experience when she was persuaded to do a policy at one of the insurance companies.

“I engaged in three insurance policies with the company, and one of the policies matured in 2020. Though I sent a letter to the insurance company, it was still deducting me. Efforts to stop the company did not yield any positive outcome”, she said.

“A colleague also introduced me to the NIC and I reported the matter to the commission. In fact within two weeks, the insurance company called me and paid all my arrears and had since stopped the deduction”.

similar testimony at the event and showered praises on the commission for helping him to collect his claims from one of the insurance companies.

He said he had followed up with the claims for the past two years, but within a month he was introduced to the commission, the insurance company had paid all claims including interest.

NIC Mandate

Established by the Insurance Act, 206, Act 724, which replaced Insurance Law 1989 (PDCL 227) the NIC has the responsibility to ensure the effective administration, supervision, regulation, monitoring and control of the insurance business to protect insurance policyholders and the insurance industry in the country.

It superintends over 54 insurance companies, three reinsurance companies and close to 100 insurance brokers and loss adjusters.

Contributions

In a speech read on her behalf, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister disclosed the insurance industry paid GHC196 million combined corporate tax to the government in 2019.

“This is impressive and certainly an achievement and an indication of an exponential growth prospecting in the future”, she said.

The industry also gives employment and livelihoods to over 12,000 young men and women and still counting, she added.

Recommendations

In his view, Oboaman Bofotia Boamponsem II, the Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional, who chaired the programme noted the NIC had a long way to go in setting standards and also settling grievances between insurance companies and clients.

He described as unfortunate that clients went through a lot of frustrations before receiving their claims and entitlements from insurance companies, saying as a regulator of the insurance industry, the NIC ought to make its presence visible to the public.

Oboaman Boamposem II called on the NIC to intensify awareness creation for particularly, people in the rural areas, who were vulnerable to access their services.

“The NIC must also ensure that they go down to the door-step of the people at the grassroots levels because most of these insurance companies take undue advantage of them”, he added. – GNA

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