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06.11.2007 Business & Finance

Insurance Commissioner urged to sit up

The Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Insurance Company Ltd, Mr Kwame-Gazo Agbenyadzie, has called on the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NIC), to do more to check undercutting in the market.

He said without interfering in the day-to-day operations of the market, the regulator should ensure that insurance companies observed certain minimum underwriting benchmarks before risks were covered.

"The supervision should be such that underwriting officers will understand the implications of the risks they are taking," Mr Agbenyadzie told the Daily Graphic at a Sales Representatives Day Out of the company at Kokrobite, near Accra.

Met uses the annual occasion to host its sales representatives to award top performers, refresh and encourage them to attain higher heights.

The meeting is also used to explain new corporate targets to the sales executives and set new targets for them.

The CEO of Met said unhealthy practices in the industry occasioned by the stiff level of competition were disturbing.

There are reports that some insurance companies underwrite certain policies that they realistically, should not have exposed their operations.

The situation could be heightened to the extent that even smaller insurance companies would be willing to accept what the bigger ones had turned down.

Asked to comment on it, Mr Agbenyadzie said "this is not in the interest of the industry" and asked the NIC to enforce its laws to the letter to ensure that the future of the industry was not sacrificed on the altar of present profitability.

On the Met operations, the CEO said the company would embark on an ambitious business plan next year to increase its stake in the insurance industry in Ghana.

"We want to recapture the second spot in premium income while snatching the first spot in service delivery," Mr Agbenyadzie said.

At the centre of the plan was superior service delivery through a combination of human capacity and technology, to deliver innovative products to its customers, he said.

"We expect that in a market where products are homogeneous, we will have to improve our service delivery through technology," he said.

The company as part of its service drive would link all its 13 Link Offices throughout the country to the Wide Area Network to ensure that those offices located closer to customers in communities could offer the same services as the main offices and branches.

MET2U, Mr Agbenyadzie said, was a service designed by the company to engage fresh graduates who they train to reach out to customers, thus expanding the coverage of insurance.

He said those development had enabled the company to inch closer to its ¢122 billion premium income mark for the year, which the company is only seven percent short of attaining as of now.

Messrs Benjamin Quayson, Paschal Dusi, Franklin Gbena and Ms Judith Demawu, were among the top performers.