Old Mutual calls for extension of insurance coverage to rural areas

Old Mutual calls for extension of insurance coverage to rural areas
Rita Korley-Strategy, Digital and Data Executive at Old Mutual Ghana

In order for the Ghanaian insurance market to flourish and increase the country’s insurance penetration, uninsured rural areas and the urban poor need to be brought under the ambit of insurance coverage, said Rita Korley, Strategy, Digital and Data Executive at Old Mutual Ghana.

Her comments follow current reports indicating that insurance penetration in the country stands at less than 2%, while the aggregate for insurance penetration in Africa is at 2.78% – a true reflection of how low insurance penetration is in Ghana and Africa.

In changing the narrative, she noted that insurance companies will have to demonstrate a long-term commitment to rural sectors by designing products which best fit rural people, as well as enhance product awareness and promote consumer education and information.

Driving growth through the InnoLab Insuretech Innovation Accelerator Programme

Rita was speaking during a Demo Day event at the Ghana InnoLab Insuretech Innovation Accelerator Programme held in Accra. This 10-week event saw Old Mutual Ghana participate as a key strategic partner.

“We believe there is a lot that needs to be done when it comes to financial inclusion, especially in Ghana,” added Rita. “With the current insurance penetration rate there is a need to educate more, and I believe that having insurance technologies (insuretechs) on board will really help to accelerate this.

“I believe it will help a great deal when we start to customise solutions in local languages in areas that have not been tapped into properly. Customers are in dire need of solutions, and we need to break things down in a way that these customer segments can understand and see the value.

“This InnoLab initiative promotes financial inclusion as a key platform to share more information in an area we would not be able to through traditional means. It can help expand distribution as well as customer service to customer segments that have not been tapped into properly, especially in the informal sector which is a key market for us.”

New Insurance Act to boost technology-based insurance start-ups

Rita also lauded the National Insurance Commission’s (NIC) efforts to finalise regulations for the operationalisation of technology-based insurance start-ups (insuretechs) in Ghana, adding that it will offer stakeholders in the tech industry opportunity to leverage innovative solutions to enhance the insurance business.

“The new Insurance Act will give insurance companies a lot more room for innovation, and it will be a key enabler in growing the insurance space in Ghana.

“It will provide opportunities for life and non-life companies to create synergies, and easier and more efficient ways of regulating themselves. There will be significant growth once the Act is fully implemented,” noted Rita.

Michael Kofi Andoh, Deputy Commissioner of Insurance at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), said the penetration of insuretechs in the country will change the way insurance agents and tech innovators operate in the industry; and will also help develop the insurance market landscape.

“The National Insurance Commission will soon finalise and issue regulations with the appropriate safeguards for insuretechs within the insurance industry,” he said. “This will ultimately increase access to insurance – which is a critical component of the economy, business at large and people’s livelihoods.”

Winners of Ghana’s Innolab Insuretech Accelerator programme

The top three winners at the Innolab Insuretech Accelerator programme in Ghana were Figtech Limited, a Ghanaian registered Fintech startup, BeNew Insurance and Ibisa Network.

The 10-week Insuretech Accelerator Programme was organised by Tellistic Technologies Services under the auspices of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) in collaboration with Old Mutual Ghana, GIZ, FSD Africa, BFA Global and Starlife. Participants were taken through various topics and exercises around starting and sustaining a business. Local and international speakers and facilitators equipped these entrepreneurs with the skills to go out there and make an impact in the insurance space.

Old Mutual Ghana is a Ghanaian top 10 leading financial institution with an innovative record of offering the best in insurance services to its clients. Founded in South Africa, Old Mutual has been consistent in championing mutually positive futures by offering excellent financial services to a wide range of customers across the African continent. The company recently celebrated 177 years of enviable history and incomparable mastery in Insurance and Pensions.

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