Business News Mon, 4 Sep 2006

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Insurance Commission to protect subscribers' interests.

Koforidua, Sept. 4, GNA - Mrs Emma Ocran, Director of Legal Affairs at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), has stressed the resolve of the Commission to ensure that insurance companies did not employ "excessive technicalities and other legalities" to thwart the collection of legitimate claims.

She said the NIC was aware that many insurance subscribers were not literate, a situation that was likely to render them gullible in the hands of some unscrupulous insurance brokers, adding that it was the interest of such people that the Commission was seeking to protect. Addressing drivers and vehicle owners at Koforidua on Sunday, Mrs Ocran advised persons who felt aggrieved by the decision of any insurance company, broker or insurance agent, to immediately contact her office for redress.

She said while they Commission was sensitive to the needs of all stakeholders, it would, nonetheless, not allow any party to rely on excessive technicalities to deny the entitlements of others. The Legal Director stressed the need for players in the sector to ensure sound ethical practices so as to develop a vibrant insurance industry that would help reallocate resources to people or firms experiencing set backs due to accidents or other losses.

Protecting the interests of stakeholders, Mrs Ocran pointed out, was paramount in securing an insurance industry that was both functional and prepared to respond to crisis situations that were most likely to cause setbacks in the economy due to human or other hazards. The NIC, she emphasized, would not hesitate to intervene when a company either delayed or refused to pay an entitlement, or when claims to be so paid were found to be meagre.

Baffour Otuo Acheampong, Eastern Regional Manager of the State Insurance Company (SIC), speaking on how to ensure the integrity of the insurance industry, was not happy about incidents of false representations and claims often tabled by some patrons.

He called for a concerted effort to ensure that the insurance industry did not slide back to its infamous period in the 1980s where some professional groups whose expertise were required in expending claims, colluded and cheated the companies through false representations thus bringing the industry into disrepute.

The Eastern Regional Vice-Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Mr Kofi Boateng, requested the NIC to support drivers' groups to streamline their operations so as to reduce the incidence of fraud pertaining to motor accident. Mr Boateng said it was unfathomable that a person, who was not on board a vehicle at the time an accident occurred, could present police and medical reports for claims.

Such situations, he suggested, could be avoided when drivers' unions were assisted to develop a manifest of departing passengers by aid of computer technology.

Mr Matthew Hayford, Acting General Secretary of the Ghana Road Co-ordinating Council, appealed to the operators in the road sector to embrace ideas meant to improve safety standards in the industry in line with global protocols.

Source: GNA

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