National Insurance Commissioner, Mrs.
Nyamekah Kyiamah on Wednesday said life insurance was one of the best ways to mobilise long term funds for economic development.
She said although some strides had been made over the years, it was expected that more could be achieved through innovative product designs and effective marketing strategies.
Mrs Kyiamah made the observation when addressing participants at a seminar, on the new pension reforms and opportunities for life companies in Accra.
A six-member Life Insurance Council chaired by Mr C.
Bruce was inaugurated at the function.
She noted that the separation of Life Business from General Insurance Business introduced in the Ghanaian Insurance Law, provided the legislative and regulatory environment for the fast and effective growth of Life Insurance Funds.
Mrs Kyiamah urged members of Ghana Insurance Association, to reflect on relevant areas such as Agricultural Insurance, Micro-Insurance, Oil and Gas Insurance and the need for increased financial and human resource capacities, to meet the challenges of developing a strong and vibrant industry.
She noted that there are some negative practices that affects the operations of General Insurance companies that are not akin to Life business.
Mrs Kyiamah said seeking to be players in the emerging pension business; insurers would be up against very formidable competition from other players in the financial services sector who, over the years, had managed to build a stronger and more reputable image for themselves.
She called for the restructuring and improvement upon technical soundness, financial intermediation skills; radically improve the service quality and customer orientation before there could be a realistic chance of being competitive in the pension administration and fund management.
Mrs Kyiamah said there was the need to define a framework to raise standards for the public benefit and encourage professionalism and trust in all spheres of their operations.
Amartey Vonde of National Pension Regulatory Authority, said the new pension scheme would improve the living standards of employees as well as increase national savings and funds.
He said the reforms were being implemented all over the world and Ghana was no exception.
He said the new three-tier pension scheme would enhance pension benefits and increase retirement security.
Mr Vonde noted that insurance companies had a role to play and urged them to take advantage of the current pension dispensation.
"The new Pensions Act presents for Life Insurance business in Ghana," he said and its economic viability was encouraging for the growth and development of capital, mortgage and the insurance market.
Mr Issa Anafure, Managing Director of SIC Company Life Policy said framers of the Constitution justifiably foresaw pension administration as a major target market for the future.
He said stakeholders in insurance business should direct their energies, resources and expertise towards making profitable use of the opportunities that the emerging market would present.
Mr Anafure said there were uncertainties regarding the involvement of life companies in the new Pension business that was not clearly dealt with in the law.
These were; issues of registration and the supervisory or regulatory institution that would oversee the operation of life companies involved in pensions business.
"The challenges we need to surmount demand pragmatic solutions if we are to see real growth and development in the Life Insurance sector of the industry," he said.
Benjamin Acolatse, President of GIA, who inaugurated the Life Insurance Council said the task ahead was onerous and urged the members to deliver on their mandate by helping to create banks from insurance companies.