Importers and Exporters in Ghana are being encouraged to purchase marine insurance covers locally in order to get full guarantee on claims in the event cargoes suffer damages at any stage of the maritime trade.
Speaking on the Eye on Port program, Mrs. Mercy Naa Korshie Boampong, who is a member of the Technical Committee on Marine Insurance at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), emphasized that local insurance companies have the requisite capacity to insure the large chunk of cargoes coming through the maritime trade.
“We do not have issues with capacity when it comes to the financials. Technically, we have experts in that field. Traditionally, insurance companies departmentalize the various fields, and that applies to marine underwriting and claims. They have the expertise,” she asserted.
Mrs. Mercy Boampong lamented the passive attitude traders in Africa have concerning marine insurance which is regarded to be one of the oldest forms of insurance globally.
She entreated importers in Ghana to avoid ceding the insurance components to suppliers overseas because it may appear that they have guaranteed full cover on cargoes but in actual fact, it isn’t the reality.
“Even when you have bought the goods on CIF, you don’t have full cover.
Internationally, the CIF only mandates the supplier to buy the minimum marine cover which is the institute cargo clause C. It doesn’t cover volcanic eruptions, earthquake, entry of sea/lake/river water into your goods, washing overboard. It doesn’t cover total loss following the loading or offloading,” Mrs. Boampong articulated.
The Technical Committee Member on Marine Insurance at the NIC encouraged traders to commit to purchasing insurance covers from local insurers to give them peace of mind and save themselves from the legal nuances that may elude them in the maritime trade.
“Even if it is on CIF, you do not know the insurer. There are issues of language barrier and inadequacy of the cover. When you take local insurance, you are protected. It secures you. It is like disaster recovery plan. It guarantees the business continuity,” she continued.
Mrs. Boampong nonetheless praised the exporting community in Ghana for their patronage of marine insurance covers from Ghanaian insurance companies.
She also outlined many auxiliary benefit growths the local insurance industry will have on general economic development of the country, employment, growth in the banking sector which will trickle down to improve trade financing.
Meanwhile, the National Insurance Commission (NIC) has revealed that full implementation of the Marine Cargo Insurance Protocol at the Ports of Ghana will take place before the end of the year 2021.
The Cargo Insurance Protocol will make it mandatory for traders to purchase local insurance for their import and export cargo.