A National Insurance Commission (NIC) enforcement taskforce last Tuesday arrested 10 property owners in Accra for failing to meet the mandatory insurance cover requirement for their properties in a week-long clampdown on defaulters.
The taskforce made up of personnel from NIC, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and the Ghana Police Service (GPS) inspected some commercial properties such as electrical, lubricant, gift shops, supermarkets and fuel stations at Christian Village near Achimota. Those arrested could not show fire certificates and the relevant insurance cover for their buildings and were taken to the CID headquarters for processing.
The exercise was in accordance with section 183 and 184 of the Insurance Acts, 2006 (Act 724) that requires a person who constructs or causes to be constructed a commercial building to insure the liability in respect of construction risks with a registered insurer.
The law also states that every commercial building which it defines as “a privately owned building to which members of the public have ingress and egress for the purpose of obtaining educational or medical service for the purpose of recreation or transaction of business” should be insured with an insurer against the hazards of collapse, fire, earthquake, storm and flood, and an insurance policy issued for it.
In a press briefing, the chairman of the taskforce, Joseph Bentor, explained that buildings that were visited during the exercise had been forewarned with several notices during the year. Failure to heed the warning led to the week-long action being taken.
He highlighted the dangers of not complying with insurance policy by saying that the calamity of disasters affects all persons irrespective of who owned the building at the time the disaster struck, and indicated that the taskforce would widen its area of operations as it seeks to visit at least 20 other commercial properties in other areas of Accra in the coming week.
The taskforce secretary, Kojo Appiah, who is also the legal officer at NIC, said the relevance of the exercise is the lives it saves, as well as the monies the state would expend in terms of compensations in the event of disasters.
“Let this building fall down right now, everybody will fall on government and the government is you and me. And compensations cannot bring back life,” he asserted.