Provide Sustainable Timelines For Minimum Capital Increase - Seth Aklasi

Seth Aklasi, Chief Executive Officer of Donewell Insurance Company Limited has called on the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to provide timelines and details needed to raise the minimum capital of the insurance sector in Ghana in order for the various insurance companies to prepare adequately for the process.

Currently, the minimum capital for insurance companies in Ghana is USD 3.5million as compared to other West African countries whose minimum capital stands at about USD 8.5 million. Ghana’s insurance regulator; The National Insurance Commission has hinted on many platforms including the just ended Donewell Insurance Symposium that, they are considering a possible increase in the minimum capital required to set up an insurance company.

Speaking in an interview at the just ended Donewell Insurance’s 25th Anniversary Symposium to discuss current issues and trends in Ghana’s insurance industry, Mr. Aklasi stated that it was important for the insurance commission to provide timelines and modalities for an increase since they have indicated on many occasions that an increase is being considered.

“Just like the Central bank has done for the banking sector, I think that our regulator also intimated some time back that they were going to be raising the minimum capital. The last time the CEO’s in the insurance industry met with the commissioner, he did say that they are still thinking about the modalities and if you listened to the presentation of the supervisor from the regulator, he also mentioned that they would have to increase the minimum capital.  However, for this to be done smoothly, we as leaders of insurance companies will also need to know exactly when it will happen so that we can strategize and plan accordingly”, he said.

Mr. Aklasi disclosed that it was imperative for the industry to carry out such symposiums in order for stakeholders to critically asses the current and future status of the industry to enhance their image as well as to continue being relevant to the economic development of Ghana.

“As an industry, we hope this forum can afford as the opportunity for some introspection that will serve as an impetus to enhance our image, product offerings and service deliveries that will continue to keep us relevant to the economic development of our dear nation Ghana. If we do not create fora like this to critically assess our current status and future, we stand a chance of being taken over like has happened to others,” he said.

Donewell Insurance’s 25th anniversary symposium was themed ‘Insurance in Ghana-The different perspectives: The Regulator, The Investor and the Insurer and attracted many CEO’s and key players in Ghana’s insurance sector. Mr. Larry Jiagge; Managing Director of Risk Management and Advisors revealed that, about only 30 percent of Ghanaians have an insurance cover due to the low penetration of insurance products and services. Commenting on the prospects of the industry, Mr. Jiagge disclosed that, late payment of claims, inadequate use of technology, depreciation of the cedi and false claims were some of the factors affecting the prospects in the sector.

Seth Eshun, Head of Supervision at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), who spoke from the perspective of the regulator said about 40 percent of cars in Ghana are not insured with some having fake motor insurance. He mentioned that, data available to the NIC indicates that there is an alarming gap between the number of cars that have been registered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) compared to the number of cars that have been insured by insurance companies in Ghana.

However, Mr. Eshun mentioned that the NIC is working together with the DVLA to ensure that cars that are not registered by the DVLA and are not road worthy are not allowed on our roads unless they are properly insured.

Currently there are 28 non -life insurance companies, 24 life insurance companies, 81 broking insurance companies and three re-insurance companies registered under the NIC with no strict limitation as to which company can join the sector.  But Mr. Aklasi recommended that there should be non-financial restrictions as to what one can do to be able to set up an insurance company in Ghana.