CIIN, NIIA tasks operators on insurance awareness
The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), has stressed the need for operators to tackle the issue of low awareness, which has been a major set-back on patronage in the Nigerian market.
The President, of the institute, Eddie Efekoha, who spoke to The Guardian on recent developments in the industry, said: “The level of insurance enlightenment is still a major challenge, and there is a need for stakeholders to tackle it before the industry can become viable like othes sectors of the economy.”
Efekoha also called on all stakeholders to embrace retail insurance business in order to deepen awareness, adding that operators have over the years, abandoned the retail market thinking that there is not much income from that sector, but forgetting that people within the bracket contribute more to the economy.
According to him, many of those in the rural areas do not have access to insurance products and services, noting that if the underwriters introduced products in such areas, they would be able to have a good means of identifying the rural residents. Efekoha, who is also the Managing Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, said the industry is adopting a concerted effort to address this issue.
He pointed out that in situations where the financial ability is lacking, an individual may not want to buy insurance, or be convinced of the value he would get before paying for it.
As a result, he said it is cogent for players to innovate the right products that would suit the needs of different segments, and also develop appropriate channels to market the products, adding that the industry is more focused on the corporate market, thereby heightening competition and leading to price reduction in insurance products.“The insurance industry premium has not grown because the corporate has reached its peak,” he said.Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Tope Smart, said retail business remains the future of the industry.
“What we do is to chase the billions, leaving the people at the grassroots.”
He explained that the various targets set to deepen insurance penetration, will not be achieved until operators give the needed attention to retail business.
“Many people do not know about insurance and we are talking of deepening insurance penetration. We cannot achieve this if the market women and others at the grassroots are neglected. If we want to take insurance from where it is to the next level we need to address the issue of retail.”