Our Youths, Insurance and the Future


Saturday, February 13, 2021   /08:10 AM / OpEd By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon  / Header Image Credit:Cpj.org

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Engaging the youths in Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted and financial services providers do not know something that non-financial services providers do not know, and this is because the youths treat every service provider they come across with a SENSE OF VALUE. They easily request to know how your products work and how much they are sold for, even though they might not be ready to pay for it then, and generally keep enquiring especially when they would have previously read about and compared the products from online sources. They are simply unrelenting and selling to them requires more than knowing your product, but importantly making it simple for them to use and fix, if there is a problem, as they do not enjoy having to call you.


The single most valuable item/asset of our youths is their smartphone! It is home to them and the engine that keeps their lives working; so, nothing is more disturbing to them like not having their phone and access to social media platforms.


Even when they decide to use your products and services, they seek speed, convenience and security. Sometimes, our youths seem unpredictable and difficult to understand yet they represent the new customer in our digital age. They are no more needing "microwave attention", they need products and services at the speed of trust!


Fearlessly, the youths sign on to everything in sight online and download any mobile app they believe will ease up their lives because they, firstly, secure their phones with the best available cyber security solution, and this is where their connection begin with the insurance services providers.


Remember, the youth population of Nigeria is 61.4 percent (from 13 years and above) and the employable population of 16 to 64 years constitute 51.6 percent; numbers the insurance industry is desirous of converting to policyholders. Also, 90 percent of the 208.8 million Nigerians have mobile connections while 50 percent are internet users, both comprised mostly of our youths. (Source: Datareportal)


While many may think of the youths in uncomplimentary ways and associate them with social vices and misdeeds, the insurance industry in Nigeria is seemingly engaging to strengthen their connections with them beginning with attracting them through employment and migrating aggressively to online and mobile channels for easier offerings of their products and services.


Interestingly a good number of youths can tell you lots of things about insurance offerings and the licensed operators even when they are yet to have any policies. So, they are informed! To assume that they are not informed and move to educate them, insurance salespeople and advisors have been surprised at the quality of questions and suggestions our youths have thrown at them.


"Why can't I insure only my smartphone without putting it with other household items?"


"Why can't I insure my investments in crowdfunding platforms offered in agribusiness?"


"When we have a seamless process for settlement of claims without making calls and trips to insurance offices?"


Often, these questions and more do not receive satisfactory answers beyond "We don't insure speculative risks" and "We are paying claims everyday and can send you details of what we have paid recently" submitted by insurance executives who follow up with moments of educating the prospects and policyholders. What if we had Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Case Studies that can be readily accessed by our youths, who trust what they pick online more than what you explain to them.


Like it is often said "The future is now!" Increasingly, insurers are shifting from offering explanations to providing access to insurance for our youths especially by partnering with start-ups founded by our youths, and mostly via mobile and online platforms.


An exciting new insurance experience is unfolding into the future with our youths dictating the pace; hopefully someone is going to take our youths very seriously because the insurance industry in Nigeria is remaking our youth engagement model. Employ the youths to develop innovative products that will be sold through channels founded by the youths to provide access to the youthful population of Nigeria.


The future beckons to a new youthful insurance industry. 


About The Author 

Ekerete Olawoye Gam-Ikon, MNIM, CPP, is a management consultant with a specialization in Strategy and Insurance. You can contact him via e:mail olagamola@gmail.com and mobile +234-806-648-1111 


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