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20.10.2008 Business & Finance

Confusion rocks first Insurance Awards

By The Statesman

Corporate Initiative Ghana, organizers of the 1st National Insurance Awards failed to realize their dream and desire to help inject some level of competitiveness into the insurance industry.

 It suffered a serious blow last Saturday night when organizers were forced to abandon the event halfway through.

This was due to severe inconsistencies in the awards being given to some insurance companies.

Two wrong awards given to Quality Life Insurance Company brought matters to a head with most guests screaming their disapproval at the results.

This caused the organizers to scrap all the awards and bring proceedings to a premature end.

The presentation of the awards had been going on smoothly as one company after another came forward to receive their awards until it came to the turn of Best in Motor Insurance. Surprisingly the best in this category announced was Quality Life Insurance Company Ltd.

 As guests shouted their disapproval, the Master of Ceremonies announced that there seemed to be a problem with that award so it was being withheld for correction.

However, when the subsequent award: Beast in Marine Insurance also went to Quality Insurance hell broke loose with guests shouting their disapproval of the sloppy work done by CIG and their Research partners, the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) .

The problem has been that about two years ago government amended the insurance law asking insurance companies to separate their Life Insurance products from the general insurance portfolio.

With this amendment all insurance companies started running separate Life insurance entities.

However during the awards Quality Life insurance company was being awarded the Best in both Motor and Marine insurance, areas it does not operate in.

This apparent inconsistency in the award categories brought the ceremony to an unfortunate premature end.

Speaking in an interview with the Statesman, Afotey Odarteifio, Executive Secretary of CIG said  there was certainly something wrong and as a result had initiated moves to rectify it.

This was after he had stormed the stage and announced that the awards had all been scrapped.

He was not happy at all about the work ISSER did describing it as disappointing and unacceptable for a fee of US$ 25,000.

According to him, CIG wanted very credible awards devoid of any suspicion hence their decision to hand over the selection process to ISSER, which according to him is the zenith of research in Ghana.

"But we cannot accept the kind of results they are bringing to us', Mr. Odarteifio fumed, explaining that for reasons of credibility CIG did not enter into ISSER for the whole period that the data collection and analysis  was going on.

I n this regard, ISSER presented the sealed results to CIG at the ceremony with Peter Quartey, a research fellow at ISSER assuring all that their work was of very high quality.

Reacting to the confusion, Dr. Quartey blamed the problem on people who entered data on products companies did not offer.

He said when they contacted the companies to verify their information on them; they had difficulties getting answers from the companies.

Gabriel Glover Executive Secretary of the Ghana Insurance Association was happy about the scrapping of the awards asking the organisers to go back to the drawing board to do their home work well for the awards to be brought back.