The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has dispelled claims that insurance companies are shying away from market centres. 

With high cases of market fires and flooding yearly, there have been concerns over Ghana’s markets being covered by insurance.

Speaking to JoyBusiness, Deputy Commissioner of the NIC, Michael Kofi Andoh “Insurance doesn’t shy away from market centres. We insure uncertainties and not certainties.”

He added “Sometimes when you look at the market centres a lot of the connections are illegal not to talk of decongestion and flouting of market laws so basically the conditions for making the markets safe and insured are not there,” he stated.

Mr Andoh, therefore, called for a broader stakeholder deliberation on the best ways to ensure that market centres are protected from market centres if it means intensifying market surveillance or educating traders on insurance packages.

Commercial fires have a huge toll on Ghana in terms of costs. Reports from the Ghana National Fire Service show that cases of commercial fires including market fire disasters increased from 644 in 2017 to 737 in 2018.

On the cost of damages, Ghana lost GH¢28 billion in 2018 as against GH¢25 billion in 2017.

To this end, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has put in place some strategies to protect residential and commercial centres against fire outbreaks. 

The Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Elis Robinson Okoe, explained to JoyBusiness on some measures being adopted to ensure fire safety in the country.

“What we want to embark on is a home safety campaign where each house is expected to have a fire detector and extinguisher. Failure to do so will end in some prosecutions. The law is there and we shall improve compliance in 2020,” he said.

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) is set to clamp down on private commercial buildings which do not have the compulsory fire insurance policy.

According to the NIC, it is required of all owners of such buildings, both completed and under construction, to obtain the Compulsory Fire Insurance.