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LAWRENCE SEGBEFIA

The cost of last Wednesday?s floods and its damage to properties is expected to run into billions of Ghana cedis, an insurance consultant, Edgar Wiredu, has stated in an interview.

Dozens of vehicles including SUVs, sedans, minivans, among others, parked at the garages of Toyota Ghana Company, Rana Motors, among many other auto shops operating along the Graphic Road in Accra have been damaged due to the flood.

The disaster and its impact on businesses have once again ignited the debate on the need for the insurance commission to push for businesses and residents to insure their premises against such disasters.

Apart from the bigger companies that have their premises insured against floods, many do not have any insurance cover and have to rely on other sources to raise funds to restart their businesses.

For instance, Toyota Ghana Limited has announced plans to value all the cars that have been damaged as a result of last Wednesday?s torrential rains with respect to their values before the flood and then pay off the customers.

?Unlike the last time, our plan this year is not to repair any car but we will value them and pay our customers off and then eventually pursue out the insurers,? a source close to the automobile company told Business Day in Accra.

He continued: ?We will be assessing the number of cars and equipment involved so that we can have an idea of the estimated loss but the number of cars involved is much lower than what we had in 2011.?

However, most of the companies, particularly the small ones, have not been insured and the owners are now grieving because of the losses.

?Most of us have lost six months of investments made into our businesses; Our money and other belongings are all gone,? Johnson Owusu, a shoe seller at Tip-toe lane at Kwame Nkrumah Circle told Business Day.

According to him, even though some of the goods that were submerged in the flood could be cleaned and sold, nobody will buy them at their original price.

Already, the Ghana Meteorological Service has cautioned the general public to expect more rains as the days go by. When this happens, economic activities in Accra will further slowdown massively this month as small business owners have decided to take a break to count their losses.

Most traders at the Tip-Toe lane section who spoke to the Business Day stated that they have informed their suppliers to hold on as they (traders) take stock of their damaged goods.

?That would be the sensible thing to do now, most of us have lost six months of investments made into our businesses; we must wait to see how the weather will behave for the rest of the month before we can make any meaning move,? Frederick Osei Owusu lamented.

According to insurance consultant, Edgar Wiredu, it was now time for people to take what he described as occupiers liability, which means that the occupants of the properties will be covered by the insurance so that in case of such disasters, not only would the insurance cover the building and other properties but the occupants as well.

Meanwhile, government has released GH?50 million to support victims that were affected by the flood

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