October 16, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The head of Sierra Leone Insurance Commission (SLICOM) has said the commission has worked assiduously to promote and project the good image of the insurance industry to the best of international standard, adding that the new Insurance Act of 2016 captures salient areas in the insurance industry which have the potential of improving lives of Sierra Leoneans.
Dr. Augustus Kanu said that over the years a good number of Sierra Leoneans had little or no interest in insurance policy, but with massive sensitisation across the country the perceptions of people have changed about such an important industry.
He said every year thousands of people, mostly youth and children, die as a result of accidents caused by ignorance and their inability to perceive hazards that lead to such accidents.
He said the cost of accidents to the community could sometimes be almost impossible to measure, adding that such calculation would not only consider the cost of actual medication and hospital charges for the injured, but also encompass the consideration for the potential and actual loss of income to the parents, and other family members.
He opined that the previous Insurance Act of 2000 was grossly inadequate and that issues of compensation and regulation of the industry was a challenge, but that they have developed new products that focus on compulsory tenancy insurance, compulsory insurance for employers, compulsory insurance of two storey buildings to provide safety nets for affected victims of accidents, among other schemes.
“The commission has established the compensation fund for payment of motor victims faced with injuries and deaths. The compensations are paid to the injured and those killed especially for hit and run vehicle cases as road accident victims will be compensated according to the new Insurance Act of 2016,’’ he said, adding that the vision of the commission was to lead the local insurance industry to the stage where it would largely be self-regulatory, with well-developed structures within its operations to ensure its continued growth and prosperity, having the capacity to operate independently and with a strong sense of accountability and social responsibility.
He noted that the Insurance Act of 2000 established SLICOM to regulate and monitor activities of the Sierra Leone insurance industry and create the enabling environment where public confidence could be enhanced and sustained in the insurance industry.