Global conference on inclusive insurance opens tomorrow


This week, Ghana will host the International Conference on Inclusive Insurance 19th edition, which will take place from October 23rd to 27th 2023.

The conference is expected to attract some 400 participants drawn from about 50 countries all around the world.

The periodic conference is designed to stimulate discussions, exchange perspectives, information and ideas, and generate support for insurance policies, products, services and regulatory frameworks which encourage and facilitate affordable access to risk management through insurance cover for low income socio-economic segments – primarily represented in the form of the informal sector, but also inclusive of formal sector enterprises and activities that typically also lack  adequate access to insurance for reason of affordability and lack of awareness.

This year’s edition is being organised by the Munich Reinsurance Foundation and Micro-Insurance Network, with local hosting collaboration and support from the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), and Insurance Brokers Association Ghana, (IBAG).

This year’s edition of the conference is coming on the back of the 18th edition that was hosted by Zambia in 2018. The impending conference will focus largely on the use of technology to design and disseminate insurance products and services which can mitigate the dire effects of global pandemics and ongoing climate change on relatively poor segments of the global population, thus converting the risk of further decline into poverty into a potential for unprecedented wealth creation on the global level.

Necessarily, the global effort toward achieving insurance inclusiveness is leveraged primarily on the emergent micro-insurance sub-industry, and this is an area where Ghana is proving to be an industry leader.

Michael Andoh, Ghana’s Acting Insurance Commissioner and CEO of the country’s insurance industry regulator, NIC, points to the Insurance Law currently in force as evidence of this. The current law incorporates a detailed framework for micro-insurance as well as regulations that support expansion of agricultural insurance, since farming is the biggest informal sector employer in the country.

To be sure, Ghana, alongside many other countries around the world – particularly African jurisdictions – are sorely in need of sharply increased inclusiveness in the distribution and patronage of insurance products and services. In Ghana formal, core insurance market penetration is still estimated at barely 3% of the populace; but instructively, when health insurance and micro-insurance accessed by the informal sector are added to the computations, penetration estimates rise more than four-fold.

Micro-insurance penetration in Ghana is supported strongly by access to mobile insurance products innovatively marketed through mobile telephony networks – at very low premiums that are embedded into call tariffs. While several specialised micro-insurance companies have sprung up in recent years, the conventional underwriters, too, are embracing its delivery enthusiastically; realising that, arguably, here lies the biggest growth potential for their business volumes.

It is instructive that Ghana seems to be on the way to evolving into a regional insurance hub for Africa, with several international insurance-related conferences and other events being hosted in the country over the past couple of years. Indeed, just last month an international workshop on life insurance was held at Elmina in the Central Region, with participation by several African countries.

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