The Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) has launched the 2023 edition of its annual Insurance Brokers Awareness Month. The programme was launched on October 17 and will run until the end of November.
IBAG is the official association for licensed Insurance Brokers, Reinsurance brokers and Loss Adjusters operating in Ghana. Established in 1988 it has over the past 35 years grown into a key organization within Ghana’s insurance industry, with 98 members currently.
One of IBAG’s five core objectives is to provide education for both its members and the general public, and this is what its annual awareness month seeks to do.
Explaining this at the launch of this year’s programme, IBAG’s President, Shaibu Ali asserted that: “Today’s gathering is driven by our commitment to this objective, which calls for educating the public on matters relating to insurance broking. That’s why we have taken it upon ourselves to use this month to bring insurance broking to the front-burner for all and sundry to be aware of”.
He revealed that this year’s edition will emphasise public education on claims management. “We aim to enlighten insurance consumers on the process of making claims – the necessary documentation, procedures and ‘dos and don’ts of the claims procedure”.
The awareness campaign will over the next six weeks include radio and television interviews and presentations, insurance educational activities, social media campaigns and a press soiree.
To be sure, insurance broking is crucial to insurance penetration and quality of risk management the industry provides its clients – and the sheer value proposition on offer. Indeed, about 50% of the insurance premiums received by Ghana’s insurance industry is generated through business placed with underwriters by brokers on behalf on their clients.
However, the potential benefits of broking are still underexploited because many clients – potential and actual – are unaware of the basic fact that they do not have to pay for broking services; rather, it is the underwriter who pays for the service in the form of a commission paid to the broker on the premiums generated,
But benefits to the client from using a broker are huge, despite the services being free. Brokers use their professional expertise and experience to help clients properly assess their insurance needs, shop for the underwriter who offers the best value proposition in meeting those needs, and helps to pursue a claim if one arises.
But since underwriters have to pay brokers out of premiums they receive from clients they bring, some insurers try to cut them out of the loop with a view to retaining all the premiums generated from an insurance contract for themselves – and some of them desire to use the client’s relative lack of professional knowledge to minimise the value proposition brokers have to offer in order to fulfil the contract. Indeed, underwriters find themselves caught between this temptation and the realisation that brokers are the primary source of clients and their business.
IBAG however intends to ensure that the insuring public gets the maximum benefit from services offered by its members.
Shaibu Ali noted at the 2023 Awareness Month launch: “Insurance broking remains an unfamiliar term to the average Ghanaian. This is due to the level of insurance in Ghana – with only about 40% of the population insured. Our goal is therefore to raise awareness about the immense benefits insurance clients can reap by utilising the services of insurance brokers. Our objective for this exercise is to let Ghanaians have a clear understanding of who an insurance broker is, and what benefits they can derive from using one. This will ultimately help improve the penetration of insurance in Ghana”.