SIC Insurance Company Limited, one of the oldest insurance companies in Ghana, at the weekend, launched an Insurance Penetration Revolution Roadmap, which seeks to increase its market share across all sectors of the economy.
The SIC Insurance Penetration Revolution Roadmap seeks to confront deep-rooted hindrances in the sector – low public confidence, coupled with a deep-seated mistrust of insurance companies.
Mr Stephen Oduro, SIC Insurance Managing Director, stated that the company, as a market leader, seeks to change expectations of the public of insurers and create greater awareness of how insurance operates elsewhere in the world.
“We are also focusing on increasing the level of education with its associated awareness of legal rights, transformed claim payment and make insurance policy documents easy to understand to the general public,” Mr Oduro stated.
He said Ghana’s insurance sector must eliminate all perceived operational obstacles, as well as evils, that have dented the image of the sector, which continued to breed suspicion in the minds of clients about the insurance industry.
Mr Oduro explained that SIC Insurance has rolled out transparent mechanism to live by its promises to pay genuine claims promptly and revamp its structures to ensure that an aggrieved policyholder or claimant does not go through cumbersome legal process or avenues for redress.
“It is a common knowledge that majority of those who purchase insurance products do so either because they require some form of protection or are compelled either by law or other contractual provisions and conditions to buy insurance.
“This form of involuntary buying of a product is what I would like to refer to as ‘grudge purchase’, that is buying when you would have wished not to buy.
“By that, I mean, all things being equal, people would wish they do not have to purchase insurance, except that they feel compelled by circumstance to act against their wishes, and so they grudgingly purchase insurance for say contractual or to meet regulatory requirements.
“So when their expectations are not met, their level of frustration goes up through the roof. They bad mouthed all insurers and so provide more fuel to public mistrust of insurance,” the SIC Insurance Managing Director stated.
Mr Oduro said SIC Insurance, being a market leader, admitted that promoting public trust is a herculean task, but not insurmountable, therefore “we have set up effective communication at the point of selling and at the time of claim”.
“Increase professionalism in handling clients at both underwriting and especially claims handling stages, changing the attitude of our frontline staff, and being innovative in our approach to business by embracing technology to enhance service delivery.”
He also called for an effective and robust regulator to ensure and monitor standardisation across the industry, as well as create awareness among the public.
Mr Oduro said under the SIC Insurance Penetration Roadmap, “we are also tackling issues of the industry through building adequate human capacity. A systematic attempt at training and retraining the human resource is key to promoting the industry; we are leading the insurance revolution”.
“The SIC Insurance Company has also adopted holistic and sustainable technological base; we have injected Information, Communication and Technology into our operations, focusing on the policyholder or client’s comfortability.
“It is very critical that the human resource base of the insurance industry is well motivated, adequately resourced in terms of job tools and competitively remunerated to ensure they acquire the inner drive to deliver effectively and efficiently,” he said.
Mr Richard Adu-Poku, Deputy Managing Director, in his contribution, explained that the doctrine of utmost good faith serves as the operational pillar for the new brand image of SIC Insurance at all levels.
“We are, therefore, upscaling to ensure adequate and self-sustaining our financial capacity, to be able to fulfil our mission for being in business and also to motivate the human resource base.
“We at SIC Insurance, financial capacity building implies that the necessary steps that we need to undertake in order to have a stronger ability to appropriately manage the expenditure items that befall us are all firmly established, that is ability to manage claims and management expenses – especially staff cost, within our own resources without recourse to loans and overdrafts,” he said.
SIC Insurance is a leading provider of general or non-life insurance products in Ghana. Its business operations cover fire, motor, marine and aviation, and accident insurance. SIC also provides specialty insurance products such as hoteliers and leisure policy, a policy for the hospitality industry.
With roots dating back to 1955, the company has been operating for more than 52 years and has developed longstanding relationships with insurance brokerage firms and some independent agents, who constitute some of its primary distribution channels.
SIC’s business is national in scope, with a visible presence in all 10 regions of Ghana. The company has consistently, over the span of its business life, maintained steady market leadership.