CIIG holds Conference and AGM 2019

CIIG holds Conference and AGM 2019

The Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG) has urged the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to adopt a ‘name and shame’ strategy to improve confidence in the insurance sector.

According to the President of the Institute, Rev. Asante Marfo-Ahenkora, fines alone are not enough deterrence for insurance companies engaged in unethical behaviours.

Speaking to JoyBusiness at the President’s Ball session which formed part of the institute’s 2019 Educational Conference and AGM, Rev. Marfo-Ahenkora said, “we realized that they were punishing companies for wrongs done but those outside doesn’t know which ones are doing the wrong things.”

He said the strategy could also shore up underwriting profits and improve the insurance claims management.

Basic principles

Rev. Marfo-Ahenkora also urged insurers to adhere to basic principles of underwriting and claims handling if they want to remain relevant in the industry. This was captured in his welcome address at the conference.

He said, “The banking and finance issues we have experienced as a nation should be a wake-up call that we stand the risk of losing public trust as a result of our neglect of basic principles of insurance underwriting and claims management.”

He bemoaned an underwriting loss recorded by the industry for the year 2018 describing it as a wakeup call to practitioners.

“For an industry with an asset base of about GH¢6.2 billion, a total industry profit of GH¢202 million means 3.26 per cent return on assets in2018 and that is not respectable, to say the least when inflation is close to 10 per cent.”
Rev. Marfo-Ahenkora added.

Insurance professionalism

The CIIG President’s sentiments were reechoed by the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, Michael Andoh, who also lamented the low level of professionalism among insurance practitioners.

Enumerating some of the challenges bedevilling the industry, Mr Andoh said, “Even though we have managed to significantly increase the number of qualified professionals in the industry, the level of professionalism is still low.”

The Deputy Commissioner has however called for intensified capacity building taking cognizance of basic principles of underwriting and claims handling.

The NIC advocates the need to grow the industry as regards to its total assets. Comparing the country’s insurance industry to that of other African countries, Mr Andoh said, “As at the end of 2017, Kenya had $2 billion in gross premiums while we as at the end of 2018 had $600 million.”

He, therefore, charged the insurance companies to grow the number of customers and their distribution channels.

Annuities market

The 3-day conference also featured a seminar on “Exploiting the annuities market in Ghana; key considerations for success.” There was a representative from the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, Ernest Amartey-Vondee (NPRA), who is the Director of Planning Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Sharing some statistics on the pensions industry, the Director of Planning Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) Amartey-Vondee said “as part of the product development, these questions also become relevant, what is your target market, what are the needs of that target market, and so on, you need to know as part of process of product development.”

Fellow’s forum

Some seasoned fellows of the CIIG took turns at the conference to educate and take the professionals through a mentorship programme.

Senior Insurance expert, Larry Jiagge, for instance, delivered a lecture on the New Companies Act and how insurers should brace themselves for the moderation made to it.

Dr Geraldine Abaidoo, on her part, explained the roles both mentors and their protégées have to play to ensure a smooth transition of leadership skills which could go a long way to increase the sector’s market offering.

Annual General Meeting

The CIIG on the 3rd day of the conference had its Annual General Meeting where its proposed 2020 budget was presented together with notes to the financial statements for the year ended Dec 2018.

The budget expects the institute’s revenue to grow by 32 per cent to GH¢1.68 million and total expense to grow by 12 per cent to GH¢1.22 million resulting in a year-end of GH¢42 million to be added to the accumulated fund.

The proposed budget seeks to provide adequate funding to facilitate the passage of the CIIG’s bill, to incentivize the secretariat and other committees to pursue the drive, to resource the CIIG secretariat to manage the demands of increased membership and support services for the institute’s programs for the year.

It also seeks to maintain healthy cash flows needed to support the institute programs and enable the institute to continue to pursue its strategic objectives.

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