President John Evans Atta Mills has called on insurance commissioners in the sub-region to increase their regulatory and supervisory capacities to ensure that the self regulations by the insurance companies succeed.
“You have the responsibility to ensure that right things are done for a healthy and vibrant insurance industry in the sub-region” he added
Prof Atta Mills made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of 32nd annual general meeting and education conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) in Accra yesterday.
The three -day conference which is being hosted by Ghana seeks to educate insurance companies on how to handle the oil and gas in the country.
It was on the theme “Oil discovery in West Africa: its impact on the socio-political and Economical Development of the Sub-Region and the Vital Role of the Insurance Industries in the Management of these Natural Resources”.
The sponsors include Enterprise Life Insurance Company, International Energy Insurance Company Limited, Star Assurance, Phoenix Insurance, State Insurance, Ghana Insurance Association and DONEWELL Insurance.
He said Insurance companies should develop micro-insurance products to target the informal operators in the country.
“So when we experience fires in our markets and rural dwellings there is no insurance intervention to provide relief for our brothers and sisters who fall victim to such unfortunate mishaps” he said
Prof Atta Mills said another area of that the companies could extend their operations was life insurance, adding that the insurance was one of the best ways in mobilising long term funds for economic development.
“The new Pension Reform Law, Act 766 should provide life insurance companies in Ghana with greater opportunities”. he added
The president said there were policies to promote local content in the emerging oil and gas industry in Ghana which will see our people playing significant roles in the oil industry in all its manifestation.
Prof Mills advised insurance companies to maintain the highest professional standards, adding we must avoid the negative and harmful practice that threatens the growth and development of our industry.
“Premium undercutting, unbridled granting of credit resulting in unethical competitive practice only weaken our financial situation and jeorpadise our ability to meet our claims obligations and improve service quality to our clients.” he added
The President of the Ghana Insurers’ Association, Mr Ben Acolatse in his welcome address said the emerging oil and gas industry in Ghana has fortunately and unfortunately exposed the limitations of our insurance market especially relations to inadequate capacity and technical know-how.
He said the history of WAICA gives pride of place to the significant influence , initiative and commitment of the Ghanaian market in the formation of the association.