Insurance firms in the country, have been tasked to change the prevalent “reverse insurance culture” of Ghanaians.
The “reverse insurance culture”, Mr Baba Mahama, the former President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), asserts, is common among Ghanaians in both rural communities and urban centres.
The reverse insurance culture, he explained, exists in the form of Ghanaians receiving some monetary support or having something to fall back on to finance or mitigate risks or disasters when they occur.
“Reverse insurance is common among rural communities and urban centres in Ghana. It has been the way of life of Ghanaians for centuries.
“In the Ghanaian society, families or individuals usually get monetary support to finance expenses of funerals in the form of contributions to the bereaved family or individuals.
“The difference here is that, with modern insurance, the said family or individual has to first pay premiums to access the needed funds to finance the funeral when it is due. But with reverse insurance, they quickly get the funds to finance the funeral when the time is due or even after the funeral through contributions made to them“
Making the call on insurance firms in the country during a public lecture themed “Making Insurance the Ghanaian Way of Life”, the former President of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), noted insurance firms have to change the “reverse insurance culture” to be able to engender the patronage of insurance products among the Ghanaian populace.
According to him, the inability of insurance companies to change the said “reverse insurance culture” of Ghanaians will result in the continuation of low insurance penetration rate in the country.
“If we are trying to make insurance the Ghanaian way of life, then we are wrestling with culture, specifically the reverse insurance culture of Ghanaians.
“And to change the reverse insurance culture of Ghanaians, then we must come up with a lot more of innovations in the insurance industry and think long-term,” he added.
According to a recent research by the National Insurance Commission (NIC), a sizeable number of the Ghanaian population (46.2%) hold the view that insurance companies in the country care more about monies paid to them in the form of premiums than actually helping insurance policyholders who have subscribed to one insurance product or the other.
Aside those who hold the view that insurance companies care more about money than policyholders, another 43.7% believe insurance companies will always delay or make it difficult for their clients to make claims.
Per the report, most Ghanaians view their insurance providers with ambivalence (doubt), with the overriding perception of insurance companies being that, they are very needed but not liked, relied on but not trusted – this probably is a major reason for the low penetration of insurance in the country.
The survey further reveals that, 34% of the respondents surveyed find insurance products unappealing.
Currently, insurance penetration in the country stands at 1%, adding health insurance and pensions, insurance penetration stands at 3%.