Expand compulsory insurance scope – Hollard CEO

Patience Akyianu

Ghana’s low insurance penetration can become a thing of the past if the industry’s regulator expands the scope of compulsory insurance products and services, and aggressively enforces existing laws, Patience Akyianu-CEO of Hollard Ghana, has said.

“The more compulsory insurance we have the better it will be for us to get people to do what is expected. However, beyond introducing the law, we need to insist on enforcement of the current compulsory insurance products such as marine and commercial buildings,” she said, adding her voice to growing calls for an expansion.

Currently, insurance companies underwrite two compulsory insurance policies: Motor Third-Party policy and the Fire policy (for Private Commercial Properties), but the NIC has pointed out that it seeks to widen the mandatory insurance net through review of the Insurance Act to include others like workmen’s compensation, group life insurance, and professional indemnity.

To her, not everyone complies with the law; so beyond the introduction of compulsory insurance for marine and commercial buildings, what she expects to see is the regulator, with the support of law enforcement agencies, aggressively enforcing the law by going beyond naming and shaming to the application of fines and other penalties.

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Even as the NIC is in the process of including group life in the list of compulsory insurance products, she believes that the addition of public liability – which would see public buildings including government buildings get insured – will go a long way to increase the penetration of insurance and protect third-parties.

Ms. Akyianu was speaking to the B&FT at the Hollard Tertiary Entrepreneurship Summit, a forum aimed at providing basic entrepreneurial skills and exposing students to various entrepreneurial avenues they can take advantage of while in school. It came off at the RS Amegashie Auditorium, University of Ghana Business School (UGBS).

She explained that with insurance penetration standing at below 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Hollard took it upon itself to engage the youth, especially students, so that they will become interested in insurance and become financially literate from school before they get into the world of work.

“For Hollard, our purpose is enabling more people to create and secure a better future, and this is a practical demonstration of helping people achieve their ambitions and secure their future. We are very much interested in youth because they are the future, and this is one of our contributions to helping them build the skills and capacity they need for the future,” she said.

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The summit included speeches, presentations, a panel discussion and questions and answers, and was part of Hollard’s larger Streetwise Financial Literacy programme aimed at enabling more people to create and secure better futures.

She explained that in addition to imparting the necessary skills to them, Hollard will offer students the opportunity to do part-time sales to gain experience and earn some income at the same time.

“With this seminar, we hope to contribute to this country’s economic development by increasing the levels of penetration; and we are very confident that the more we engage with these students and they engage their colleagues with the ways they work, the level of penetration will increase.”

Held under the theme ‘Create and Secure a Better Future’, Ms. Akyianu assured that the Tertiary Entrepreneurship Summit is the first of Hollard’s upcoming activities under the Hollard Streetwise financial literacy umbrella. “We intend to continue with this initiative over the coming years.”

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