Experts harp on community-based insurance penetration in Nigeria
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and some experts in the nation’s insurance industry have advised practitioners to collaborate with religious and community leaders to increase penetration.
The experts, made the call at the yearly Insurance Consumers Colloquial that kicked -off in Lagos, with the theme: “Stimulating Insurance Consumers’ Trust in Nigeria”, organised by organised CPC, Consumers Education Foundation (ICEF) and Pastures Consult Limited.
It featured participants from insurance industry, government, commerce, academic and NGOs from within the country.
They commeded the forum, saying it has been able to brigde the knowledge gap of practioners and correct the wrong perception on insurance.
The Director- General CPC, Babatnde Irukera, said the theme for the colloquium was thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking, based on the realisation of the abuse that consumers were exposed to.
He posited that the abuse has eroded the confidence of many citizens in the sector and paved way for decreased insurance patronage that subsequently affected national economy.
“The abuse include exposure to fake insurance documents, misinformation and poor level of awareness on the part of the consumers,” he said
Irukera, who was represented by Mrs. Sussie Onwuka, Head, CPC Lagos operations, urged practitioners to collaborate with the leaders to facilitate insurance enlightenment programs in communities.
But a former President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Sunny Adeda, said another challenge to the industry is misconception.
There is belief that insurance companies are “legalised thieve”, empowered to collect money and fail to meet obligations when the need arose.
Adeda urged such thinkers to change the misconception, saying on the contrary, they should see insurance as a veritable tool for poverty alleviation.
He further said though the industry has embarked on some enlightenment programmes to educate the public, there is need to be “particular on how insurance works, bridge the poverty gap and solidify trust in the industry.”