Africa Re set to change face of underwriting in Nigeria
Worried by challenges plaguing Nigerian insurance industry, authorities of Africa Re-insurance is poised to move the nation’s insurance sector to an enviable height.
Addressing journalists at the corporate head office, in Lagos at the weekend, the Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer of Africa Reinsurance Corporation, Ken Aghoghovbia, expressed serious concern over the challenges affecting the sector presently.
According to him, the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA), reports that only 4.3 million vehicles have genuine motor insurance out of about 12 million vehicles on the roads in Nigeria, and this is validated by the number of fights between drivers in events of vehicle accidents. All these could have been avoided if the individuals were aware of the benefits of insurance.
“The extremely low insurance penetration rate of 0.3 per cent is not healthy for the growth of the Nigeria economy,” he stated.
As part of its mandate to help grow insurance policy in Nigeria, Aghoghovbia said: Africa Re has decided to drive a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign to increase awareness across the country, noting that there is a dearth of knowledge among the general populace.
“This is in spite of the fact that as a reinsurance company, we only deal with insurers/reinsurers and not with the individual beneficiaries of insurance policies. Our aim is to deepen the knowledge about insurance and the advantages therein,” he stated.
Aghoghovbia said the campaign aims at developing an integrated behavioural change to enhance the effort made by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the NIA to bridge the knowledge, experience and perception gaps in the Nigerian insurance market.
“We saw the need or rather some gaps, and we believe we want to put in some funds to bridge that gap and that gap is lack of awareness of the benefits of insurance in the country,” he said.
He noted that even country like Ghana is 1.1 per cent penetrations. We believe that the penetration in Nigeria is very low. Nigeria is a richer country and if insurance is developed it will help to jump-start the economy.
Speaking further, he listed some of the set to achieve from the campaigns, which are; to correct the negative and prevalent perceptions plaguing the industry; drive penetration and density as well as grow insurance culture across the country; and to enlighten the public on credible insurance partners, on how to get and enjoy the benefits of insurance in Nigeria.
According to him, we are really insurance, we are not direct insurance company but this has a direct impact on direct insurance companies, because if many people are aware of it, they will take insurance serious. The focus is more of given back to the community.
Also, The Managing Director, DDB Worldwide Communications, Ikechi Odigbo, stated that, we have a situation where the economy is not well developed. We see a direct correlation between the levels of development with the level of insurance insurer and it is across the sectors.
According to him, the campaign will address the coping mechanism and the benefits of insurance, adding that a lot of people think insurance is expensive; it is not. It is going to demystify the myths against insurance.
Odigbo stated that some people believe that, because you have mal practices among the players in the insurance industry, that is the norm across board, this is also not true, and one of the goals of the campaign is to point out to people the authentic certified insurance they can rely on when it comes to general and life requirement.