The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) says it is working on a draft bill for the consideration of Parliament to help support the growth of marine insurance products and services.
The bill, when passed into law, would bridge the gap between the heavy importations and premiums paid by the insured.
Speaking at a five-day workshop at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, President of the GIA, Mrs Aretha Duku said research had shown that countries with Marine law had vibrant insurance business.
The workshop organised in collaboration with German Development Cooperation (GIZ) aimed to build the capacity of stakeholders and marine insurers.
Mrs Duku said to help boost the contribution of marine insurance the Association was pushing for a Marine Act to support the development of the marine business sector.
“It is our hope that we will lobby all stakeholders to develop a marine law, which will help grow the marine business,” she said.
She said despite the significant growth in imports, there was low penetration of the marine class and that of the entire industry and attributed the development to “some dynamics at the point of entry.”
Mrs Duku said the Association was in talks with the regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NIC), to consider making marine insurance compulsory.
The GIA, she indicated, was proposing that marine insurance be considered compulsory in the amendment of the Insurance Act (724), “which is ambiguous”.
She said the Association as part of its 30th anniversary would prominently create awareness on marine insurance in collaboration with the media.
On his part the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr Justice Yaw Ofori said the low level of marine insurance in Ghana was because the Insurance Act, 2006, (Act 724), which required that all goods being imported into Ghana be insured by Ghanaian insurance companies. However, the Act did not enjoin persons to purchase the cover.
He expressed the hope that the workshop would enable insurers to re-strategise and provide solutions to enhance local marine insurance content, nurture local marine insurance experts and influence policymakers on the need to develop marine insurance in Ghana.
“It is important that maritime traders and importers embrace the patronage of local marine insurance cover for the growth of our economy,” he stated.
Mr Jochen Ramcke, Head of Financial Systems Development Unit, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), said the GIZ saw marine insurance as one of the strategic portfolios, capable of driving growth and ensuring better returns to investment.
He said the training in marine risk and insurance was opportune to help chart a new path in reviving a key area in the insurance equation in Ghana.
Participants from the insurance and banking sectors, the Association of Ghana Industries, Private Enterprises Foundation, the Petroleum Commission, Ghana Revenue Authority, the Fisheries Commission and academia are attending the workshop.