Commissioner of Insurance must intervene in NSS insurance brouhaha

The latest uproar among a section of Ghanaians regarding the intended compulsory insurance for the current batch of National Service Personnel deserves the attention of the Commissioner of Insurance to prevent it for collapsing.

It is disappointing how Ghanaians are responding to matters of national importance of late. Barely a few months ago, the public kicked against the compulsory towing levy which the Presidency unanimously agreed with the public and cancelled it, regardless the impact it would have had on road accidents in the country.

It will be unfortunate and disturbing to allow yet another all-important policy to be cancelled by the Presidency simply because the approach is not likeable by some.  Is this phenomenon or practice gradually becoming an obstacle in moving the nation forward?

Provision of insurance services for our National Service persons is indisputably a good policy.  Considering the state of our social systems and economic status, policies like these are supposed to serve as self-security for the vulnerable in the society.

Insurance is one major tool for risk management and our service personnel are certainly not devoid of such risk in the course of their duties.

As a result of this, African Insurance Aid humbly requests that the Commissioner of Insurance intervene and bring the matter to a closure without it being referred to the highest office of the land.  The Commissioner of Insurance as part of his mission is to grow insurance penetration in the country cannot afford to lose out on a population of 90,000 person.

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Moreover, if the policy does not survive it may further deepen the erroneous perception about insurance among the youth.  Some believe insurance is not a priority because the risks being covered are too remote and they get nothing when nothing happens.  But that is their perception and it needs to be corrected through policies like this.

The Commissioner and the Director of National Service have what it takes to make the policy a success.  Consequently, we suggest that the Commissioner refer the matter to the Compulsory Insurance Committee which was inaugurated two years ago with specific terms of reference.  The Committee should advise the commission and the National Service Secretariat on the best approach to implementing the policy.

However, if referring the matter to the Committee would not be possible due to time constraint then, we recommend the following:

  1. The actuarial unit of the commission should ascertain the adequacy or otherwise of the intended monthly premium of GH¢15 per personnel;
  2. Once the commission is satisfied with the rating and the corresponding benefits, all insurance companies should be allowed to participate in underwriting the policy for the personnel.
  3. The premium should be paid once to the selected insurer by the service personnel during the National Service registration, and submit certificate of insurance to the scheme as evidence of insurance. This should be effected before the commencement of the service;
  4. The service personnel may appoint an insurance broker or agent to sign the policy for them with the insurance company of their choice.
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We also wish to state that going forward any new compulsory insurance policy that goes beyond one body or association of persons must be assessed and approved by the commissioner through the Compulsory Insurance Committee to ensure healthy business conducts.   This may avoid or reduce any brouhaha that may affect future policies of insurance which seek to address some social challenges in the country.

Credit: Ali Mohammed Sulley – African Insurance Aid

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