SIC insurance company limited has been adjudged the overall best insurer for the year 2015 at the just ended 7th Cedants awards organised by the Ghana Reinsurance Company Limited (Ghana Re).
The annual Cedants’ award seeks to reward stakeholders and business partners in the insurance industry for their contribution the growth of the industry.
It also rewards companies that put up exceptional performances and exhibited a high level of commitment towards the success of the sector during the year under review.
This year’s occasion was held on the theme, “Insurance awareness and positive image—a necessary and positive prerequisite for the growth of the insurance industry in Ghana”.
Speaking on the theme, the Managing Director of the Ghana Re, Dr Abiba Zakariah, bemoaned the level of insurance penetration in Ghana, describing it as low.
Currently, the insurance penetration rate in Ghana is less than two per cent, with more than 88.8 per cent of Ghanaians, representing about 23 million people, being uninsured.
That, according to Dr Zakariah, was troubling partly due to the important role insurance plays in the lives of every individual as well as the key role it plays in national development.
“More worrying is the fact that per the National Insurance Commission’s (NIC) annual report for the year 2014, the year-on-year growth rate has steadily declined over the past five years from 35 per cent in 2010 to 17.8 per cent in 2014, indicating a possibility that the penetration rate could worsen in future,” she emphasised.
According to her, although the microeconomic environment had contributed to the situation, the activity and inactivity of the industry should also be blamed.
Dr Zakariah indicated that the level of illiteracy among many Ghanaians was high thus, the appreciation of insurance was low, saying that “even the educated fail to differentiate between insurance and other financial products.”
The onus, she added, lay on the players in the industry to double up their activities to reach a lot of Ghanaians by carrying out intensive education and public awareness activities.
“There is, therefore, the need to reach about 88.8 per cent of Ghanaians, most of whom are in the lower income bracket, by creating greater public awareness as well as raising the positive image of the industry to a level where it would attract and gain their trust thereby increasing insurance uptake,” she said.
Reasons for low penetration
For his part, a former banker and insurance expert, Mr Baba Mahama, said lower income and lack of trust were some of the major challenges bedevilling the industry, thereby causing lower penetration rate.
He charged insurance companies to give their customers the claims that they deserve, emphasising that if customers were always paid lower claims, their level of trust in the industry would continue to be shaky.
The Deputy Commissioner of the NIC, Mr Simon Davor, commended Ghana Reinsurance Company for continuously organising the event.
He pledged the NIC’s continuous collaboration and support for insurance companies in the country.
Other award winners
Other insurance companies that were rewarded on the night included Metropolitan Life Insurance Ghana Limited, UT Life Company Limited, Enterprise Life and Provident Insurance Company Limited.
Special awards were also presented to some international partners of Ghana Re, namely J.B. Boda Reinsurance Brokers Pvt., India; United African Insurance Brokers, Nigeria; First Reinsurance Brokers Limited, Kenya and the Atlas Reinsurance Consultants, Tunisia.