Innovative Insurance Solutions in Ghana: Daniel Boi Addo Presents Hollard Insurance

Daniel Boi Addo presents Hollard Insurance, a leading insurance company in Ghana specialized in providing innovative insurance solutions to the market, including: motor insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, burglary insurance, fire insurance, etc. He also shares his vision for Hollard to become the biggest insurance company in Ghana within the next five years.

Interview with Daniel Boi Addo, Managing Director of Hollard Insurance

Daniel Boi Addo, Managing Director of Hollard Insurance

What is your assessment of the insurance sector?

The insurance sector is a sector with a lot of potential. But unfortunately, as players in the industry, we have not been able to come up with products and policies that would help us harness that potential. So, we all are still fighting over the same 2% of the markets, the potential opportunity, price and price wars, products, not much innovation until very recently. It is a sector with a lot of potential, but it has not grown as we would expect it or want it to have grown in the last few years.

How do you distinguish Hollard from the competition? What do you bring that is different?

In terms of general insurance, what we are doing differently is finding different ways to reach the market. There is so much to do in terms of innovation. What we are doing differently is trying to find new and exciting ways to get to the markets. COVID has made the days of clients walking into an insurance office for services virtually impossible. So, how do you reach the clients efficiently without face to face contact? Going forward, that is what is going to determine who wins the insurance race on the retail side. We are trying our very best to make the buying of insurance as simple as possible. We have platforms, we are working with retail outlets, you can buy insurance when you go to buy your groceries for the week, you can pick your insurance products in the comfort of your home on a Saturday morning. Post COVID, every insurance company is trying to come up with efficient ways of meeting the clients. In the next two, three years all of this will culminate in an industry which is very client facing, which is very easy to deal with. Of course, we have our back office challenges. We are mindful of this whilst trying to open up a distribution channel. We are also keeping our eyes on the back office. There is no win in making a million new clients and losing a million new clients every day because the back office could not support that aggressive growth. In the years ahead, the underwriters like Hollard will be able to find new and better ways of getting to the clients and this market will grow.

Are you looking for other partnerships?

The intention in all of these partnerships is to improve access to insurance products. We make a lot of noise in Accra, but that person 10 kilometers out of Kumasi, how does he buy auto insurance? You have to come into Kumasi or just drive around and look for the nearest insurance office. There are still a lot of people who want to buy insurance who do not have access to insurance. So, for all of our partnerships, the intention is to bring insurance closer to potential buyers. If you can pick up a product without hassle, it improves the possibility that you will buy the product. More than 40% of all the vehicles on our roads are not insured. For most of these people, if they can easily walk into a shop or a dealership and buy insurance, they will buy insurance. It is not expensive. We know that the alternative to not buying insurance can be expensive.

Is there a way to make auto insurance compulsory? Will that dramatically change this issue?

Our capacity to come up with innovative solutions to problems is unparalleled in this market and that is what sets us out against the competition.

Actually, third party motor insurance is compulsory in Ghana. The challenge has always been enforcement. In the past, the difficulty with enforcing had to do with logistic challenges and admin problems. The Motor Insurance Database is one of the innovations that the current Commission has come up with where all motor insurances go into a central database where you can access the validity of a motor insurance through a USSD code. That really is the solution. What this means is that anyone with a simple phone on the streets can tell if that vehicle is insured or not. The first challenge of a simple way to tell if a vehicle has insurance or not has been passed. Now, the question is, how do we get the security or the law enforcement authorities to use that code to help us bring that over 40% of uninsured vehicles into the net? We think we are in a good place to start the fight against uninsured vehicles and we have all the tools already. It is just a matter of working with the police to make sure that it is part of their road checks. If you stop anyone, just make sure they have insurance and in no time we will deal with this issue and this number will come down significantly.

There are a lot of different things that you cover such as home insurance, travel insurance, burglary insurance, fire insurance, etc. How do you make yourself competitive? Are there things where you are stronger and you distinguish yourself from the others?

Motor insurance is regulated entirely by the regulator so there is only so much you can do with that. But, when it comes to non-motor, that is where our expertise comes in. We are part of a multinational group, so most solutions have been found in other countries. If you want a solution for a certain exposure, it is a matter of me sending an email or picking up the phone and calling across the group and there is always some way you can get solutions. Our capacity to come up with innovative solutions to problems is unparalleled in this market and that is what sets us out against the competition. Cyber is a growing class. In the last few years, we have had several programs where we train workers and other clients on site on the cyber exposure. We are the only insurance company in this country that has a deliberate plan on cyber insurance where we are training all our intermediaries to make sure that our clients are covered. In these days of COVID, cyber insurance coverage is even more important because we are all heavily engaged on the net. As much as it makes life comfortable for us, it opens us up also for cyber criminals.

What new things are you developing? What are your current projects?

In the next few weeks or in a month, we expect the new insurance bill or Insurance Act to come out. When it comes out, marine insurance becomes compulsory for all inbound cargo. Indemnity insurance becomes compulsory for almost 30 different professions such as doctors, architects, lawyers, accountants. Public liability becomes compulsory for all commercial spaces. Currently, our biggest project is to make sure we are ready for the opportunities this will bring. For example, almost 95% of all cargo that came into Ghana in 2019 was not insured in Ghana. It was all insured from the ports of departure.

Do you have a CSR policy?

At a high level, the policy is always not just to see success as how much money you have made, but most importantly, how much we have affected the society we operate from. Currently, we run the Streetwise Project which is a financial literacy program where we better educate different non formal sector groups such as traders, artisans, mechanics, dressmakers, all the people outside of the formal sector who might not have enough financial literacy education. So, one group at a time, we try to improve their understanding of the basics of finance and savings, assessment and loan facility, how to plan as a primary retirement. Traditionally, our social security has been for formal sector workers. Luckily, with the liberalization of that space, now there are a lot more private schemes who are providing opportunities for people in the informal sector. The intention is to explain the issues to them. We have been around the country a few times, and every year, we pick a few groups and a few regions in the country. We have even done one for students in the universities and how to plan their future.

How do you see Hollard Insurance evolve in the medium term, three to five years’ time? What is your ambition for the company? What do you want to achieve?

In 2019, we were number two. At the rate that we are growing, in the medium term we should be number two by size, and in the long term, within five years, we should be the biggest insurance company in Ghana. Most importantly, we want to be the most profitable insurance company, delivering solid returns to our shareholders and our stakeholders and giving good, quality service to our clients.

What is your inspiration? What drives you to do what you do now?

Winning is important for me, as a person. In the last few years I have had to lead, I have realized winning together is even more important than just myself winning. As a leader, you should be able to comfortably say that because of what you do other people are better off. Every morning, what drives me to work is the fact that I might be creating a better future for someone else. That, for me, is the biggest driving factor and it stems from the Hollard purpose of creating and securing a better future for everyone. I think that purpose drives me every morning out of my bed, to go out and attack the world, knowing that I am helping someone create and secure a better future.

ABOUT HOLLARD: Hollard Ghana combines deep local knowledge of the market with the world-class expertise of an international insurance brand. With headquarters in South Africa but feet firmly planted on Ghanian soil, Hollard is able to deliver innovative insurance solutions. Starting out in Ghana as Madison Insurance in 1993, the company was recapitalised and renamed Metropolitan Insurance Company Limited (MET) in 1997. In 2006, the company took the decision to move its focus away from life insurance to other personal and commercial insurance products. In 2015, the Hollard Group acquired a majority shareholding in the company. Hollard Ghana is a member of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), West Africa Insurance Companies Association (WAICA), and the African Insurance Organization (AIO).

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