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Compulsory insurance for houses, shops

November 17, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

Commissioner of Insurance at the Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM), Augustine Kanu, has disclosed that the New Insurance Act of 2016 makes provision for dwelling houses, shops, hospitals, colleges, entertainment centres, office buildings, factories, among others, should be compulsorily insured against fire accident.

He made the above disclosure on Monday at the Miatta Conference Centre, while making a statement on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Commissioner Kanu said the provision was meant to protect affected persons, who bear the brunt whenever fire accident occurs.

 “Another thing in the 2016 Act is the compulsory employer’s liability insurance for those with more than five employees. This is because of the sufferings that employees and dependents undergo when there is injury or death caused by an accident during the course of employment or illness arising out of or in course of employment,” he said.

He added that the insurance would alleviate the suffering of the employees and their dependents.

Commissioner Kanu disclosed that there was also a provision for people to compulsorily insure structures that would be under construction, noting that the move was to alleviate the suffering and financial loss to third parties due to  falling of objects, effect of excavation and collapse of building on neighbouring properties.

“The insurance will reduce the burden on government to provide social safety nets to its citizens when there is an accident. But employers are excluded from this cover because they are supposed to be covered under employer’s liability insurance,” he said.

He continued that the 2016 Insurance Act makes provision for compulsory professional indemnity insurance for certain professions, which he said would be a policy to compensate victims based on negligence of practitioners.

He disclosed that the ‘no premium no cover’ in the new Act dictates, among other things, that no insurer shall allow credit on the premium payable on an annual policy.

 He added that such simply meant that insurance premium payment shall be a prerequisite for a valid contract of insurance.

He noted that such has a negative effect on the market and also on the operations of the insurance companies, especially on their ability to pay claims promptly and also meet their obligations to their shareholders and reinsurance companies overseas.

“The no premium no cover will help the Commission to position the insurance industry to a stable, safe and financially sound position in order to fulfill its responsibilities to the insuring and the general public,” he said.

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