Mr. James Anti, Chief Executive Officer of Midas Insurance Brokers, has tasked licenced insurance brokers in the country with an urgent need to expand their role beyond facilitators of risk transfer to helping their clients keep pace with social, technological, environmental, economic and political development in order to ensure their businesses’ stability in the face of face of current COVID-19 challenges.
He gave this advice while talking to B&FT on issues of treating the consumers fairly, in Accra last week. “As insurance brokers, there is a need to expand our role beyond facilitators of risk transfer to helping our clients keep pace with the growing developments influencing changes in Ghanaian society, thus ensuring their business’ stability even in the face of economic challenges,” he said.
The Chief Executive of Midas, while baring his mind on how insurance brokers can stay relevant in the insurance business of Ghana, hinted that the future is only assured for insurance brokers who demonstrate analytics, innovation, expertise in risk identification, management and transfer, and those who can design and supply bespoke solutions to it.
He also bemoaned the rate of insurance penetration in the country and cautioned insurance companies, saying management should caution their staff to refrain from trying to belittle insurance brokers to their clients in a move to get the businesses direct.
“Together, insurance companies and brokers can improve the penetration rate,” he said. Speaking further, he revealed that as a young man he started as an underwriter with the SIC Insurance Company in Kumasi, moving through all the departments such as Marine, Claims, Reinsurance and Underwriting.
He further said the pace of insurance’s retail segment is the future of insurance business in the country, given its untapped growth opportunities; hence, there is a need for insurance brokers to deploy technology to unlock the growth potential while engaging in constant public enlightenment to sensitise the market for increased penetration.
He exhorted the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) to place the interest of their clients above all else while applying professionalism, integrity and independence.
He also charged his colleagues to not only focus on cheque collection in the industry and forwarding of renewal notices, but also to make a conscious effort by explaining the products better for policy holders – adding that the future market will certainly belong to the brokers who have worked hard enough to secure the trust and loyalty of consumers, and that the insurance sector will benefit the economy only when high penetration is achieved.
He further stated that high penetration cannot be achieved when most providers concentrate their operations only in the commercial cities of Ghana, when most local governments are without the presence of any insurance institution.
James Anti says he has over 40-years of experience as an insurance professional – starting from SIC in 1974, he moved on to a bigger market in Nigeria to practice as an underwriter before moving back to his country.
Revealing that in Nigeria insurance brokers are taken as kings and queens, he said insurance companies even advertise for brokers and ask the insuring public to approach a licenced broker when they need insurance; but it is the reverse in this country.
He explained that in Nigeria he worked with Confidence Insurance Company in Ondo State, and rose to the top as a Chartered Insurance Practitioner. “I brought in the concept of insurance auditing for corporate institutions in Ghana from Nigeria. On my arrival, I introduced this concept into KEK Insurance Brokers, Ghana’s top-most broking firm where I was the Deputy Managing Director until I left in 2007, when I co-founded Midas about 11 years ago. Midas in this short time has become a household name in the country, rising to be among the top-10 insurance brokers.”