Kejetia Market inferno: 3 out of 4 shops not insured


About three out of four shops at the revamped Kejetia Market do not have any form of insurance, anecdotal evidence gathered by the B&FT has revealed.

This discovery was made weeks after an inferno destroyed several shops and their wares on the market’s second floor, popularly referred to as ‘Kejetia Dubai’ in Kumasi.

The issue of insurance became a major topic for discussion when traders accused market managers of not renewing the facility’s insurance for over a year.

However, investigations conducted by the B&FT revealed that most traders did not see the need to insure their wares – citing reasons such as dishonesty on the part of insurance companies.

Isaac Kwasi Nti, who trades in men’s clothing, admitted that he had never considered getting insurance for his wares until the inferno occurred. He stated: “I have never thought of acquiring insurance. It has never crossed my mind. The way things are going, and looking at the extent to which people have lost so much in the inferno, I am considering one because we don’t know what might happen again,” he stressed.

Another trader, known as Sister Kumiwaa – a grocery dealer, expressed fear of being duped by insurance companies, even though she is aware of the benefits of insurance. “It is a few individuals here who have insurance; but for me, I am not really interested. When we first came here, the market leaders had a talk with us about acquiring insurance; all of us here were registered, but we have since not heard about it again.  I know insurers would have come to our aid if we had a thing with them,” she stated.

Kusiwaa affirmed that insurance is good, but however lamented that the issue has to do with traders themselves – including her.

“We are all guilty of not doing the right thing to insure our businesses; some of the insurance companies are good, others too are crooks,” she stressed.

A disposable plates and cups shop owner, who gave his name only as Ben, said because of how delicate his goods are he has insured them with a local insurance firm over the past four years. He further encouraged other traders to also get themselves and their wares insured.

“For me, I have insurance with SIC. I have worked with them for the past four years. I like their mode of work. I would urge my fellow traders to insure their business, because we do not know when this unfortunate situation will reoccur. So, it is good – especially in times of trouble like when the inferno happened here,” he added.

Meanwhile, insurance expert Justice Peprah Agyei, told the B&FT in an interview that in an attempt to boost confidence among the public, insurance companies should make their payment of claims public.

“There should be more education and awareness on insurance. Insurers also need to take advantage of some of these events happening, and publicly make payments to victims who have insurance. It would restore confidence among the people.

“People need trust from insurance companies, and that trust must be earned. This also means insurers must show professionalism at every step of the way from underwriting to claims payment,” he emphasised.

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