An initiative to aid policyholders and the public in general to report complaints with regard to the insurance industry has been launched by the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) in Accra.
The initiative, known as Complaint Management and Advice Bureau (CMAB), is to serve as a virtual department setup in line with GIA’s three-tier complaints management and self-regulatory regimes.
The bureau will also serve as a customer relations centre where clients will be advised on issues facing them with regard to their providers, while addressing the misconception about insurance in general.
The President of the GIA, Ms Aretha Duku, said at the launch on June 1, in Accra that the idea of the CMAB will further provide customers with some form of redress and advice.
She explained that the CMAB was part of efforts to build a closer relationship and give more value to customers, to handle complaints from policyholders and the general public.
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“We are very mindful that the survival of any industry, amid technological advancement, is customer centricity; and for the insurance industry, this is not a fallacy at all. Today, we have revamped and are launching our CMAB to provide customers of our member companies with some form of redress and advice,” she stressed.
Need for the bureau
The need for the CMAB, Ms Duku stated, was necessitated by a desire to improve on the challenges customers faced seeking redress when they felt they had not been served well; as well as by the practitioner’s eagerness to see an aggrieved customer feel satisfied that his or her complaint was given a good chance to fair resolution.
Again, she observed that the CMAB was to serve as an enhancer of the industry’s self-regulation, which ensured that the industry monitored its own adherence to legal, ethical or safety standards in the first instance, as opposed to having a third party perform that function.
In that regard, the president said values and rewards of self-regulation could not be over-emphasised as it reduced both the burdens of complaints that went to the regulator, as well as avoided unfair judgement and punitive actions against members.
“Aware of the growing need to educate its public on the vital role insurance plays in all facets of their lives, the GIA, in coming out with the idea of the CMAB, aims to ensure that services to their customers bestow on them values that are devoid of complications or problems.
“Thus, the justification for the setting up of the bureau is derived from this conscious effort to see that practical measures follow the good intentions of Ghana’s insurers.
It is no surprise, therefore, that the bureau eventually offers a two-way benefit to both the insurance service consumer and to the insurers,” she noted.
Building customer confidence
For the consumer, Ms Duku observed that the CMAB, in all considerations, was to help build consumer confidence because customers were now assured of redress in case of disputes.
“The truth is that, in setting up the CMAB, the GIA is fully aware of the public’s perception of insurance, especially in the area of easy and timeous access to legitimate claims,” she stated.
As a result, she said in addition to other efforts by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) aimed also at whipping up awareness of the values insurance added to the consumer’s life, the GIA’s idea of the bureau came to concretely ensure that the customer was eventually confident of fair process for addressing challenges.
“This laudable effort of the GIA also brings to mind actions already put in place to further protect the interest of customers and the integrity of the insurance profession.
“One of these actions was the introduction of the GIA security-enhanced insurance stamp last year for all insurance companies in the country. Today, that stamp is seen embossed on all new insurance policy documents issued by both life and non-life insurance companies who are members of the GIA.
“This effort will continue until insurance services are accepted as indeed, an inevitable service for good life and assured future,” the president emphasised.