Ghana Re Insurance Company Limited (Ghana Re) the 11th “Cedants Awards Night had a different feel this year because of the COVID-19-related lockdowns. The Award ceremony has traditionally been the most prestigious and glamorous event held in Ghana’s insurance industry.
Since its inception, the award ceremony has been organised annually to acknowledge the contributions of loyal cedants as well as reward some selected companies which have demonstrated exceptional loyalty and commitment to Ghana Re in one financial year.
This year’s awards ceremony was in respect of the 2019 financial year. However, the difference was that the big-five companies in non-life and life were out of the race.
Astonishingly, Saham Insurance Company Ghana walked away with the coveted General Business Cedant of the Year plaque, while Metropolitan Life Insurance Ghana emerged winner to cart away Cedant of the Year in the Life category. KEK Re won the Broker of the Year award.
Commenting on this year’s awards under the theme ‘Building a Resilient Insurance Industry’, Mr. George Yaw Mensah said: “We are of the firm belief that our awards night is one event highly anticipated by the entire industry. However, in the face of COVID-19 and taking cognisance of the protocols, we have had to organise a low-key programme for the year”.
He recalled that it is also a testament that Ghana Re “does not take your contributions to growth of the company lightly, making it important for us to hold this event under the strenuous conditions to enable this show of our appreciation as well as reward deserving clients for their contributions to our 2019 financial performance”.
The Managing Director lamented over how the novelvirus global pandemic has undoubtedly affected many industries – notably the Hospitality, Aviation, Oil and Gas economies all over the world.
Although he admitted that insurers play pivotal role in helping companies and households bounce back after experiencing losses, “we are nonetheless also vulnerable to the volatility caused to the economy by the pandemic, including the volatility in financial systems and sudden changes in consumer spending and preferences.
“What’s more, the pandemic has thrown has another curve-ball that tests the adequacy of companies’ Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) structures in areas such as operational, credit and liquidity risk”.
The ‘New Normal’ – the latest jargon out of this pandemic, has brought about different dimensions to how businesses would ordinarily operate. Companies must therefore reassess, continuously monitor, and report on key risks relating to COVID-19 in a timely manner.
He quoted an article in an International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published in August 2020 that said COVID-19 has imposed a sudden and unexpected shock on the insurance industry in Ghana – saying that its financial impact entails huge drops in profit and increasing claims attributed mainly to cancellation of travel, events and associated economic losses.
More importantly, the estimated financial loss to Ghana’s insurance industry within the second quarter of this year (March-June 2020) was GH¢112m. The study further revealed that the Ghanaian insurance industry’s initial response to the global pandemic was inadequate, due to lack of experience in managing pandemic situations.