The Northern Regional office of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has urged commercial property owners and businesses to insure their investments against unforeseen circumstances.
To drum home the importance of insurance, the regional office is to embark on awareness creation to educate shops, stores and construction sites in the Metropolis and the Sagnerigu Municipality of the Northern Region on the importance of insurance for private commercial property.
The exercise will help create awareness of the need for property owners to insure their properties to ensure the safety of their occupants and those working around.
Insuring private commercial properties helps to protect occupants of the facilities, and relieve the burden on individuals and government in case of unforeseen disasters.
The new Insurance Act 2021 (ACT 1061) was enacted in Ghana to replace the previous Insurance Act of 2006, Act 724, and bring regulation of the insurance industry into conformity with international frameworks and supervisory standards, and to increase its competitiveness on the international market.
The new Act makes it mandatory for commercial buildings, both completed and under construction, to be covered by an insurance policy; and tenants need to demand an insurance certificate before patronizing it to safeguard their future.
Checks by the B&FT Tamale team revealed that the majority of facilities destroyed by fire or rain in the region were not covered with an insurance package, and therefore occupants of those facilities could not be supported with any relief when disaster occurred.
Some homes had only fire extinguishers but no knowledge of how they should be used in case of emergency, and only few had insured their properties.
If the facilities were insured, the insurance companies or brokers would have come to their aid and assessed the damage and cost, and pay for them.
The Northern Regional Manager for National Insurance Commission (NIC), Joseph Agyampoak Akanlagmin, in response to the B&FT said the Commission observed that the outbreak of fires and other disasters in the region result in occupants losing every property, and not getting any support due to failure of the individual or owners of the facilities to insure them.
“In spite of the several benefits that come with insuring one’s property, many property owners do not see the need to insure their property,” he said.
He said most of those who had fire certificates had not renewed them after their expiry, and therefore posed a threat.
He stressed the need for commercial facility owners to comply with the insurance law by insuring their facilities to cover any disaster.
Providing insurance cover might not benefit you today but will do so in future, and so insuring your property is the best step everyone must take to secure the future he said.
He explained any third party who visits a facility and there is an accident resulting in injury or death, the insurance package covers them.
Touching on insurance brokers and companies, he said efforts are also being made to educate operators to ensure professionalism in the delivery of their duties to win the trust and confidence of their clients.
“We would also like to advise them to build the capacity of their agents and staff to communicate well with the clients. As a Commission, we will continue to engage stakeholders and use the media to educate the public until all understand the need to insure their properties,” he added.