The newly sworn in President of the Ghana Insurers Association, Mrs Aretha Abena Abrafi Duku has observed that for the industry to register continued growth, it would require that various stakeholders collaborate their efforts.
She said when industry players exhibited a strong front, it would help counter negative public perceptions about insurance in the country.
She was speaking at an investiture ceremony which inducted her into office as the first female president of the association since its establishment 28 years ago.
Ms Duku, is the daughter of Nana Agyei Duku who was the first president of the association. She is currently the Managing Director of the Ghana Union Assurance Company Limited.
By her investiture, she becomes the 10th president of the association and chairperson of an 11 member board of directors for the GIA.
She promised to ensure that her term of office would see much stronger collaborative efforts between stakeholders and the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA) in order to create a platform that would encourage self-regulation and curb over-regulation.
She said she would also work to ensure that insurance was brought to the doorsteps of the public and made a preferred choice of profession among students and the citizenry at large.
“I will work to reward and promote product innovation which is driven by corporate social responsibility and would demonstrate that the insurance companies take the communities in which they operate seriously,” she said.
Ms Duku further expressed her desire to construct a forensic lab which would enable the association to sieve legitimate claims from illegitimate ones.
The immediate past president, Mr Ivan Avereyireh, praised Ms Duku, who he said was an experienced insurer who joined the board and the general insurance council in 2016 in replacement of a member who had resigned.
In her remark,a Deputy Minister of Finance, Ms Mona Hellen Quartey, commended women who were making inroads into the top ranks of the insurance industry in the country.
She mentioned the commissioners of the National Insurance Commission; Ms Josephine Amoah, Mrs Nyamikeh Kyiamah and the current chairperson of the commission Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa as three women who had climbed into the top echelon of the industry.
“I hope our male friends do not feel threatened but would appreciate the immense contributions these professionally competent and managerially excellent women were making to the industry,” she said.
She urged Ms Duku to give serious thought to customer service and ensure that there were high standards, saying “improving the image and public confidence in your industry depends among other things on how promptly and fairly you deliver on your promise to pay claims and how customer friendly processes and procedures are to your esteemed customers.”
She urged the GIA to properly explain the importance of insurance to the public in order to help improve knowledge of the citizenry on insurance as a means of increasing the current rate of insurance penetration in the country which stood at two per cent.
She said government, on its part, would continue to provide the enabling environment for all businesses including the insurance industry to thrive.
State of industry
Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, Commissioner of Insurance welcomed the new GIA board led by Ms Duku and asked her to help grow insurance penetration in the country, while looking out also for the interest and protection of policy holders.
She said the National Insurance Commission (NIC) was poised to improve the capacity and efficiency of the insurance companies significantly, as well as move insurance service delivery and growth of the industry forward.
She said there were currently 26 non-life companies, 23 life companies, three reinsurance companies and 76 brokerage companies in the Ghanaian insurance industry landscape.