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‘Awareness of insurance benefits on the increase’

By Joshua Nse
18 May 2015   |   2:00 am
STRATEGIC measures taken by regulators and operators of the industry may have increased the level of awareness on the benefits of insurance and deepen penetration in the country.

insurance-pixSTRATEGIC measures taken by regulators and operators of the industry may have increased the level of awareness on the benefits of insurance and deepen penetration in the country.

For instance, robust and hard regulatory measures taken by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in the last few years to restore trust and confidence in the system, prompt settlement of claims, launching of new products to meet demand of customers, have boosted the image of the industry.

The Managing Director/CEO, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Oye Hassan-Odukale, speaking at the launching of Leadaway Family Benefit Plan Plus (LFBPP) in Lagos, agreed that the level of insurance awareness in the country has increased remarkably because the public are beginning to see positively the benefits of insurance.

According to him, hitherto corporate organizations understood the importance of insurance to their business operation, but with the drive by NAICOM towards increasing industry penetration under its Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), a number of insurance companies have gone into retail distribution spreading all over the country.

He said that as a leading brand in the industry, the product LFBPP is a multi-life policy designed to cover funeral expenses. It covers the assured lives (spouse, parents and/or parents-in-law that are named in the policy) and the policyholder (person who purchased the policy), the product is designed to provide funeral benefits upon the death of the assured lives and other extra benefits that cover the policyholder only.

“This is part of our three year strategic plan of 2014-2016, which is a comprehensive set of plans and efforts designed to reaffirm the leadership position of our company in the insurance industry. It is an ambitious goals that reflect our view of the enormous opportunities we see for growth in the economy Our platform to deliver on our ambition will be focused on customer service, improved business processes and increased contribution of retail to our business”.

Insurance managers collaborating Odukale, said the rise in claims payment over the past few years was an indication that the insuring public are showing more understanding on the importance of insurance as hedge against risks, hence policyholders now put up claims application on the least misfortune which in the past they would have ignored.

For instance, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) – the market umbrella for the risk underwriters – in a presentation on facts and figures on claims payment by the industry, indicated that the industry in 2010, paid a total claims of N43.578 billion, it went up to N70.71 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 162 per cent, it however, dropped to N63.21 billion in 2012, representing a decrease of 89.4 per cent.

The Director-General of the association, Sunday Thomas, said in spite of this modest growth and a robust future outlook, the insurance companies have an obligation to restore our clients to good standing after a loss.

He said “The Nigerian Insurers Association encourages member companies to pay all genuine claims expeditiously and the compliance level has been tremendous.”