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NIC, GNFS advise property owners to insure buildings

Most commercial buildings in the Kumasi Metropolis and parts of the Ashanti Region that attract large numbers of patrons have not been insured.

This is of concern to the National Insurance Commission (NIC) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) who have stepped up sensitization and enforcement to get the owners to take the necessary steps to insure the identified properties.

Commercial facilities that house banks, shops, restaurants and hotels are expected by law to be insured.

But most of the buildings including private hostels at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have not been insured.

Deputy Ashanti Regional Manager of NIC, Peter Afful Nkansah, in an interview with Citi News said, warning letters have been issued to owners of the facilities.

“We have found out that most of the hostels in Ayigyase, Kotei, KNUST catchment area don’t have insurance for their buildings. So we were asked to contact Fire Service to back up so that we go around and inspect their certificates. In fact, when came, we realised that the penetration is very low and most of them don’t even understand why they have to insure their buildings. But we have been able to explain to them and they are happy. They have taken our contacts and that of the insurance company that we came with and have assured us to insure their buildings”.

He added that, “we have also issued warning letters to them. We came here last year in July to give them letters to do it. We decided to come again and give that warning. This time round, we are giving them two weeks for them to start the process and insure their properties. In two weeks’ time, if we come, and they haven’t done it, we will come with the police and enforce the law”.

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Fire officers who were part of the inspection and enforcement exercise also revealed that some of the commercial buildings had no fire certificates.

The officer in charge of the investigations at the KNUST Fire station, A.D.O 1 Okantey Griffin spoke about what they found.

“With this exercise, we realised that some of the buildings and apartments don’t have certificates. Education is ongoing not only at KNUST but in other places, the whole region and Ghana also. There are so many processes you go through in case of emergencies. This also helps in retrieving your insurance claims in the long run.

“Per the exposure we had, most individuals are reluctant. Some of them grasp the education, but for them to move out of their homes to the offices to apply for the certificates on their own is a problem”.

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