‘How to improve insurance products’ adoption for growth’
Diversifying insurance products to meet the needs of Nigerians will help to increase insurance penetration across the country, the sector’s experts have said.
Besides, helping people to understand that insurance is key to a secured future should be a compelling message to Nigerians, whether average or below average families, while the operators prepare to honour their obligations.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Anchor Insurance Company Limited, Ebose Augustine Osegha, who spoke to The Guardian over the weekend on the growth of the industry said insurance all over the world remains risk-mitigating mechanism and called on Nigerians to see what COVID-19 pandemic has done to businesses, human lives and economies generally all over the world to embrace insurance.
Ebose, explained that the impact of COVID-19 has created deeper awareness for insurance adoption, noting that it has made most people who had before now regarded insurance as a “shady business” to come to terms with the importance of risk coverage.
He expressed optimism that with everyone now knowing the damage which situations like the pandemic could cause to businesses, economy and human lives, more people were likely to embrace insurance when the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic becomes over in Nigeria.
The Anchor Insurance boss who expressed displeasure over government’s attitude towards insurance and welfare packages for its workers stated that some state governments have no health insurance, public liability, group personal accident or even group life policy for their staff, just as he called on them to learn from the experience so far from COVID-19 to provide the necessary insurance covers for their workforce.
Ebose, called on government at all levels to brace up for challenges in future by providing insurance for their workforce.
According to him, “even the business community is not left out. Before now, most business concerns looked away from taking business interruption covers for their operations.
“Also, most employees would not see the need to pick the loss of employment insurance covers because there will be job losses after the pandemics. Whatever effects they must be feeling now would have been mitigated if they had picked policies of the types I have mentioned here.”
On claims, Ebose said the insurance sector was experiencing high ratio but added that with the adequate and necessary reinsurance plans already put in place as well as the insurance reserve, the sector has been up to its task.
On measures put in place to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the industry’s operations, he said operators have to cut down on some expenditure and channel their resources to those things that are necessary now.
“Now Information Technology (IT) is taking more money because when you are cutting from one side, you use it to support the other side.
Before now, face mask and hand sanitizers were not in the budget but now we have to add them. The need for social distancing has, for instance, made us reputable insurance company to buy more cars for staff to avoid getting caught up with the issues that attend to using public transport and to ensure they remain healthy and productive.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NSIA Insurance, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, in an interview on the challenges of insurance penetration and adoption, also told The Guardian, that there is need to identify information and communication technology as the driver of the growth process.
According to her, despite the slow adoption, there is no doubt at all that penetration will increase and the premium will rise also, noting that the industry today, is paying better salary and people are better.
“In my entire career life, insurance people read more than any other profession, dedicated to writing examinations, attending seminars, conferences, and workshops.
“They want to be heard and an insurance person wants to be heard intelligently,” adding that the introduction of travel insurance product into the market by her company is another move for the business in response to their commitment to continue to provide value to customers.