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Insurers, brokers seal pact to drive insurance access

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Worried by the poor insurance penetration in Nigeria, underwriters are canvassing greater investment in the acquisition and deployment of contemporary technology and engagement with brokers to address the challenge.

In the last three decades, insurance access has remained abysmally low, owing to a number of factors linked to apathy by Nigerians to buy policies.

At an insurers and brokers’ meeting held recently, experts bemoaned the failure of stakeholders to effectively deploy technological tools to boost patronage of insurance products by the public.

Speaking during a virtual Brokers’ Forum, organised by FBNInsurance, and its subsidiary, General Insurance and its new owners, the Sanlam Group, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBNInsurance, Val Ojumah, pledged to provide excellent services to teeming clients across Nigeria.

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Saying the forum was aimed at encouraging brokers to drive insurance penetration,” Ojumah hinged the problem of low insurance penetration in the country to the failure of professionals to leverage technology to grow the industry.

Ojumah explained that insurance penetration in Nigeria is still not encouraging compared with South Africa, which has the highest access in Africa with about 16 per cent.

He noted that basic technology is shaping the way insurers run their business globally, as consumers are looking for companies that will make a shift from paper to digital, and are able to enhance insurance purchase and management experience from start to finish.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, the Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), Heinie Werth, said the core strategy of the Sanlam Group is to be one of the leading pan-African financial service providers.

“With a business presence in 33 countries in Africa, the preferred service provider across the continent when it comes to providing financial solutions and it is part of ambition to be the -African financial services provider.”

According to him, following the transfer of ownership of FBNInsurance and its subsidiary, FBN General Insurance to Sanlam, Werth stressed that the role of the Group is to leverage Sanlam’s 103 year old pedigree and provide the Management of both companies with the requisite support and technical skills to bring new products and services to the Nigerian insurance market.

While addressing the brokers, Werth sought their support and commitment in building and growing the Group’s operation in Nigeria, stressing that “We are optimistic that the FBNInsurance and FBN General Insurance teams will continue to provide the same excellent services to you and your clients that you have become accustomed to over the years.”

Similarly, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBN General Insurance, Bode Opadokun, applauded the brokers for their continued support to both businesses over the years. “We remain committed to partnering with you in offering innovative product solutions to our customers, and we are open to more suggestions that would help improve our service delivery to you.

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“Customers want a seamless experience that enables them to complete transactions in a matter of minutes as opposed to the status quo. The traditional model where a broker or agent has to be encountered in person is fast becoming archaic,” he said.

He charged brokers and stakeholders to embrace digital marketing, maximise the use of social media and artificial intelligence in their operations, adding that enormous opportunities abound in the Nigerian market and technology is a sure way to disrupt the status quo in the sector to allow improvement in the penetration level.

“The benefits of employing digital technologies in driving insurance penetration in Nigeria are unlimited. Artificial intelligence, for instance, when used can transform the archaic method involved in claims settlement thereby eliminating rigmaroles.”

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