The Ghana Shippers Authority has called on freight movers to endeavour to insure their freight locally to enable them to realise maximum benefits in case of risk or damage to consignments.
Over the years, the Ghanaian insurance market has not benefitted much from the huge investments on imports and exports, since industry players had always placed cargo insurance on overseas market at the expense of the local insurance market.
Mr Abdul Haki Bashiru-Dine, the Senior Freight & Logistics Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, at an engagement with importers and exporters, said Ghana could not continue to tread on that path.
The engagement is a brain child of sector players such as Ghana Revenue Authority, the Shippers Authority and the National Insurance Commission to clearly explain the newly developed Cargo Marine Insurance protocols.
Giving statistics on freight forwarding, Mr Bashiru-Dine said of the billions of cedis worth of goods imported, only four to five per cent had local insurance cover.
Meanwhile the Marine Insurance Act of 2006 enjoins businesses to, as a matter of importance, undertake local insurance, a regulation, which had largely been abused by businesses.
The sensitization was, therefore, to remind the freight movers of the Act, the benefits businesses stand to gain and penalties in default.
Mr Bashiru-Dine said insuring locally helped in quick handling of claims, reduction in foreign exchange flight, better access to insurers, and appropriate policy content, among others.
The protocols would open a window of opportunities for the underwriting companies and brokers to actively participate and play a lead role in the cargo and shipping business.
Mr Micheal Andoh, a Deputy Commissioner with the National Insurance Commission, said the Cost Insurance on Freight had always been a local requirement, but many businesses only took it as administrative expense and, thereby, costing them so much on import duties.
"It's about time businesses made use of local insurers to curtail cost," he said.
Mr Andoh reminded the freight movers to be mindful of fake online insurers who hid under digitisation to defraud.
Ms Mercy Boampong, the Member of the Marine Sub-Committee on the protocols, said the Commission had done a great job of sanitising the insurance industry, hence the move to educate stakeholders on the need for local insurance as a measure of compliance.