Monday, December 10, 2007

DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH FAKE INSURANCE COMPANIES (Pae 28)

Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Legal Director of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Mrs Emma Ocran, has cautioned vehicle owners and drivers in the Tamale metropolis against transacting business with fake insurance companies.
She stated that as of now there were only 24 registered companies nation-wide that had the license to operate, and advised motorists to report directly to the NIC office in Tamale when they suspected foul play during their transactions.
Mrs Ocran gave the warning during a public education forum organised by the NIC for commercial drivers, transport owners, and the public in Tamale.
It formed part of the NIC’s regional public education programme.
Participants were educated on motor insurance and its related issues, as well as complaints and compensation fund.
The director warned motorists that they risked losing any compensation due them if they transacted business with illegal insurance companies.
She told the participants that the “NIC is a supervisory body that has the mandate to issue licenses to insurance companies that meet certain criteria”.
“We do not want an insurance company to invest in projects and then when it comes to paying claims for their clients they run into problems”, Mrs Ocran said.
According to her, the NIC had an inspection department that monitored the activities of insurance companies, including their management practices and finances to ensure that the companies adhered to good corporate governance.
She stressed that her outfit had the mandate to revoke the licenses of companies that did not operate effectively.
Responding to questions from participants on why some companies allegedly delayed claims put in by clients, Mrs Ocran emphasised that “it is not in the interest of any company to keep dragging its feet in the payment of claims because they risk withdrawal of their licenses and other sanctions.’’
The Legal Officer of the NIC, Mr Oliver Bio, educated the participants on complaints and settlements bureau and the motor compensation fund.
According to him, the motor compensation fund was introduced in 1996 by the NIC in collaboration with all the licensed insurance companies to help set aside some funds for accident victims who could not access compensation claims for one reason or another.
The Northern Regional Insurance Officer, Mr Issahaque Yakubu, mentioned third party only, third party fire and theft and comprehensive insurance policies as the operational policies in the motor insurance policy.
He cautioned motorists against making any payments or repairing their vehicles in case of accidents without informing their respective insurance companies.

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