The Police have busted some workers of Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited at Abelenkpe in Accra, for allegedly dealing in fake insurance stickers.
The arrest was caused at the instance of the Special Investigative Unit of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) on Friday, January 31, 2020, upon a tip-off and the case is currently being investigated by the Airport Police.
The NIC introduced the Motor Insurance Database (MID) with electronic stickers from the NIC effective January 1, 2020, which replaces the old system of issuing manual motor insurance stickers upon renewal or purchase of new policies.
In spite of the introduction of the new policy, certain unscrupulous entities and individuals, including some regulated insurance companies, have not relented in their fictitious ways of perpetrating this crime to the detriment of unsuspecting members of the general public.
It is instructive to note that the regulator in the last quarter of 2019, published the names of regulated insurance entities in good standing and one of the Companies not on the list is Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited.
Addressing the Media in an interview at the Airport Police Station last Friday, Mr Oliver Bio, Senior Manager (Legal) of the NIC explained that, by this action, Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited has been placed under an enforcement action with a condition not to sell new businesses to the general public.
Therefore, Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited’s continuous sale of new insurance businesses to the general public is in violation of the Regulator’s directive.
According to the NIC, only licensed insurance entities in good standing as of September 2019, as they appear on the list above, can do business with the general public.
Caution to insuring public
Mr Oliver Bio used the opportunity to advise the public to desist from dealing with Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited until further advice from the Regulator.
“In their own interest and in the interest of innocent third parties, all those who have purchased various insurance policies from Heritage Energy Insurance Company Limited from January 2020, should stand notice that their insurances are invalid and therefore, may be prosecuted if found by the appropriate law enforcement agencies. This is because this company does not have the mandate to transact new businesses with the public as they have not even been set up on the NIC’s central Motor Insurance Database (MID) as a result of the enforcement action placed on them by the regulator,” Mr Bio admonished.
Other related developments
Asked if that was the only arrest made so far following the implementation of the MID, Mr Oliver Bio revealed to the media that the Commission had earlier caused the arrest of some perpetrators of illegal issuance of motor insurance stickers in the Ashanti Region and the culprits are still being investigated.
He cited the arrest of a female Insurance Agent who sells Motor Insurance for Loyalty Insurance when she was caught purportedly issuing fake insurance stickers of Prime Insurance Company Limited to members of the general public at the premises of the Driver and Vehicle LLicensing Authority (DVLA) in Kumasi, the regional capital.
In a similar fashion, two Agents of Millenium Insurance Company Limited have also been arrested for possessing fake Allianz Insurance sticker booklets also at the premises of the same Kumasi DVLA Office.
These cases, according to Mr Bio, are under investigation by the Police.
Commissioner of Insurance, Justice Yaw Ofori.
The NIC Motor Insurance Database
The NIC’s Motor Insurance Database (MID) was implemented with the objective to curb the menace of some unscrupulous persons issuing fake motor insurance to unsuspecting members of the general public thus endangering lives and property.
The reality dawns on these motorists only when involved in accidents and innocent third party victims of such accidents are not compensated due to the clandestine activities of these unscrupulous persons.
The last resort of such accident victims, remains accessing the NIC’s Motor Compensation Fund, which is often inadequate as the activities of these miscreants are said to be fast depleting the Fund.
HugelLoss to State
It is estimated that the insurance sector might have lost at least GH₵325million to fraudsters and fake insurance operatives in 2018 alone.
This figure is expected to keep rising as the years go by hence the introduction of the MID to nip this phenomenon in the bud.