Accra, June 21, GNA - Insurance Companies in the country on Monday blamed the delays in paying claims on the attempts by some contributors to defraud them as well as misconstruing insurance policies.
They noted that most people had succeeded in claiming monies through dubious means by either exaggerating the claims or conniving with the authorities involved to manipulate the claim to their mutual benefit. These issues came up at an open forum during the launch of this year's insurance week celebration and media encounter in Accra.
The companies said they were holding in trust individuals' monies and that they would have to ensure that due process was followed to determine the genuineness of claims.
Launching the week, Mrs Josephine Amoah, Commissioner of Insurance, said apart from the industry's traditional role of providing financial security to businesses and individuals; it had invested immensely in the real estate development that made it a player in the industry. The weeklong celebration, which is under the theme: "The Insurance Industry in Ghana-A Partner in the Socio-Economic Development of the Country" would create a platform to educate the public about the technicalities in insurance as well as introduce them to products they could benefit from.
Mrs Amoah noted that with the 18 insurance and two reinsurance companies, 34 insurance brokers and the more than 4,000 insurance agents; the Ghana Insurance Market produced a gross premium of 465 billon cedis in 2002.
She said although the premium was not big enough, its total market growth rate of 42 per cent per annum was encouraging. "The industry's hope for the future is fortunately growing at an even higher average rate of 62 per cent yearly", she said.
She said she was optimistic that the industry by 2020 would operate at a level comparable to those in the developed countries. Mrs Amoah said National Insurance Commission (NIC) had contributed in diverse ways to strengthen insurance companies by helping to improve upon their insurance service delivery and promote public confidence in insurance.
She said to compliment the effort of the Commission the insurance companies were re-structuring their operations by injecting capital into the field and introducing new products into the market. 21 June 04