7 Facts You Did Not Know About General Insurance

Mike Adomako General Insurance facts

Journalists, as posited by Fareed Zakaria of CNN, are quick to say 1, 2, trend. Alas! Everybody seems to be inquisitive about general issues whether pertaining to the economy, social debate, scandals, among others. However, when it comes to the realms of insurance operations, some know a great deal about the nuances of the industry but not all. Herein are 7 top facts that are NOT readily known by the insuring public:

1. Insurance policies cannot be transferred

Privity of contract is respected in insurance transactions. The terms and conditions that apply to a particular individual do not automatically apply to all individuals. Often times when motor vehicles are sold there is the tendency to ‘sell’ the insurance policy as well. This is indeed wrong and should be avoided at all cost. The insurance policy should be rather cancelled and new one arranged in the name of the current owner of the vehicle.

2. Excess

This is the amount borne by the policyholder in the event of a claim.  Insurance companies are often times reluctant to give a 100% cover. That’s the stark reality. The reason: they need to give the policyholder some financial interest in the management of their assets. If all the risks of the policyholder were transferred to the insurance company, there might be a possibility of adverse moral hazard. The policyholder might be extremely negligent in taking care of his insured assets. The excess (usually 10%) though applicable on most policies can be bought-back by the policyholder, when the insurance company if fully convinced of the risk profile of the policyholder.

3. We don’t inspect everything you insure

The policyholder is surprised when insurers don’t expect their vehicles or other assets during insurance. It’s practically impossible to inspect every asset that is insured. Where the asset is of a peculiar nature or of high values, insurance company will definitely undertake a survey. Insurance companies rely on one of their key principles in insurance with this regard: Utmost good faith. This is the positive duty to voluntarily disclose all information material to the risk been proposed. Insurance companies rely prima facie on the information provided by clients in granting cover. However, when they realize discrepancies or inconsistency in the event of a claim, the policy holder can or will be penalized for misrepresenting information.

4. Driving other vehicles extension

Has it ever occurred to you that you can transfer your insurance (third party side) to a vehicle you are driving? You can. It’s clearly stated in print on most motor insurance certificates. The next time you have a look at your certificate, read the whole document and find it for yourself.

5. You can seek redress in Court or with the Supervisory Authority

Insurance is a contract. Breach of contract can end up in the law courts. The usual first line of action is arbitration. Where one of the parties is still not satisfied with the outcome of the decisions at this stage, he/she can proceed to the court for an impartial hearing on the matter. Another good oasis for claimants / insurance companies is the Regulatory or supervisory commission. In Ghana, it’s the National Insurance Commission (NIC).

6. Hit and Run Accidents

Most supervisory Commissions do have funds to carter for hit and run accidents that happen. So the next time a friend has a similar issue, don’t hesitate to check out on the fund.

7. The Police are our eyes

Insurance companies do well with what they stand for: claim payments. The police are thus very competent with undertaking investigations and ascertainment of liability. We therefore rely heavily on the reports given by our independent security services i.e. Police, Fire Service, etc.

With no doubt, I believe you have your eureka moments now. Still experiencing enigmatic issues with insurance? Kindly hit me up.