Democratize Insurance, Empower Citizens With Information

Insurance
1445 VIEWS
Proshare - Facebook Proshare - Twitter Proshare - Linked In Proshare - WhatsApp
Proshare

Friday, June 12, 2020  / 08:29 PM  /By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon  / Header Image Credit: dollarsandsense.sg


 Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.


Interesting times are here again as we manage, and subsequently consign, COVID-19 to the position we had put such several threats after overcoming them. It is a season when an avalanche of information continues to pour into our space and we are having to decide what to take and what to forsake. At least, this aspect of our normal life will remain even as we adopt different approaches to use the available information in our best interest.

 

I have been participating in quite a number of webinars, especially on insurance, during this season and seeking for fresh usable information that I would share with others in view of my vision to expand the Nigerian economy through insurance.

 

So often, the issues, problems and challenges we discussed before COVID-19 are repeated, and rather than proffering clear solutions and directions, we conclude with phrases like "We cannot do the same thing after COVID-19 and expect a different result"; "COVID-19 has taught us hard lessons!" and "Who will be on the team to implement these recommendations?"

 

For the Insurance Industry, I will like to suggest what respective stakeholders should be doing differently now and into the future:

 

1. Federal Government of Nigeria (Presidency, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, National Insurance Commission) - Undoubtedly, you are the creator and driver of insurance in Nigeria, and with concise reports and information about the market in your custody, you should seek to assist, relieve and empower Nigerians much more with information about the existence and value of insurance. In your position as the Federal Government, you have continued to hear and discuss low insurance awareness and poor customer education as part of the issues hindering the acceptance of insurance by Nigerians, yet you embark on empowerment (intervention and relief) programmes that are launched and commissioned without any mention of insurance. Given the role of insurance as stabilizer of the economy during and after any crisis, you will do better by constantly informing Nigerians about the need to take insurance for themselves and their businesses. If we do more insurance, as the Federal Government, you will not have to be providing reliefs as the insurance industry would have fully taken over that role while the revenue accruable from insurance companies will increase astronomically. At 0.3 percent contribution to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the insurance industry paid over 330 Billion Naira as claims (2019) to policyholders and over 300 Billion Naira as tax (2018) to the Federal Government, indicating that with greater insurance penetration (currently less than 2 percent), more value could be derived from the insurance industry.

 

My suggestion to you, therefore, is to take full responsibility for addressing the twin problem of low awareness and poor education of Nigerians about insurance; and this can be done by simply INFORMING Nigerians about insurance. Let the President, Finance Minister and Commissioner for Insurance go with a simple message "Insurance is good for you, get one today, claims assured!" 

 

Some will argue that as Public Office Holders, you cannot be promoting insurance for the benefit of private businesses and it does not happen in other climes, then my response would be that "our problems are different from those in other climes and require a different approach!" Also, governments stand to benefit from it, so why not? In this time, when we are seeking to creatively address our revenue challenge, no style or approach should be considered unsuitable as far as it is legal. Besides, insurance is a social responsibility.   

 

2. Licensed Operators (Insurance Companies, Insurance Brokers, Loss Adjusters and Agents) - Like every other profit-oriented venture, you need more customers but the agelong problem of the insurance industry that you must address is delay in settlement of claims and payment of discharged claims. As operators, you have all shared from the marginal increases in Gross Written Premium (GWP) every year in the last decades but you are also interested in the significant results that can come with more customers. Some analysts have opined that the current state of the insurance industry in Nigeria cannot handle more businesses except the processes are improved to deliver better services especially in terms of claims settlement. My position is that only more demand will force suppliers to invest in systems and measures that will seek to deliver beyond customers' expectations. 

 

Therefore, I suggest, and indeed advise, that you invest a lot more in your communication, back-end infrastructure and knowledge systems. This is because more businesses are going to be coming from individuals and micro and small businesses, which will report claims (genuine and fake) more than the corporates you are more familiar with. This preparation is very necessary to ensure that when citizens respond to the information by the Federal Government and her Officers to buy insurance, you do not drop the ball. Communicate the features and benefits of your products and, more importantly, how policyholders can readily have their claims processed with the ease you announce the buying procedure.

 

Importantly, I suggest that each of you should focus on your selected area and do a great job of it. Over the years, professionals in insurance have been easily distracted by the efforts put into being an insurer and acting like a broker or loss adjuster to a policyholder, or being a broker and acting like an insurer to the policyholder; a completely weary process. Technology cannot even enable such a process except where it has been compromised.

 

Lastly, conduct thorough scrutiny of the engagement process for existing and potential policyholders and remove unnecessary bottlenecks that seem to protect you and frustrate them. Just simplify it! 

 

3. Shareholders - You are the ones who provide the funds needed to meet minimum capital requirement to obtain/retain the operating licences and the working capitals to operate the businesses. If you are like most investors in the insurance industry, also involved in leading the day to day management of your companies, you are likely to exercise care in deploying capital into market research and development. However, it is a season of attempting new ways to reach higher levels of achievement, so you will need to reconsider your risk appetites.

 

My suggestions to you, as shareholders, are firstly to get respected persons as independent non-executive directors into your board to stretch you beyond fear to dwell on emergent opportunities; then secondly, insist on your company setting aside some percentage of the profit to address key societal challenges preferably youth engagement. Lastly, challenge yourselves to become stronger communities of shareholders in insurance from all the companies to not only protect your interests but promote the adoption of insurance by the public.

 

4. Policyholders and Yet-to-be Policyholders - My favourite group from where I believe the positive changes we desire for the insurance industry in Nigeria will come from; you have the biggest role to play in a rather simple way: Just ask the WHY questions!

 

This will be my suggestion to you. Ask questions, not only about prices and timing of delivery of policy documents but also about what they will tell you when any claim is reported. If you do this very well, you can possibly get what looks like a Claims Guarantee at the point of endorsing the policy.

 

Meanwhile, if you have not been signing your insurance contract documents, that may have been the reason you were not reading them and the failures in settlement of your claims by insurance companies could also be attributed to this. Ask questions!

 

Be assured, there are some insurance companies that are committed to giving you new and defining end-to-end insurance experiences, do not just buy insurance because you need to help a relative or friend sell and meet his/her sales targets, search for and compare rates and conditions based on your specific needs.

 

5. Students and Young Insurance Employees - You are the real changemakers of the insurance industry in Nigeria! I know, as some of you have told me in our sessions, that what you hear/read about the insurance industry in Nigeria scares and discourages you but, as you know, what does not ruffle your feathers would not be worth your time and talent.

 

I suggest you read more, listen more and research more about what you read and hear, then connect with innovative professionals globally, thanks to technology, to mentor you and prepare you for the "war"; you are going to be fighting the battle for economic space wherever you decide to pitch your tent. Be challenged, be informed!

 

Closing Thoughts

The need to democratize insurance is the responsibility of all Nigerians and others resident in Nigeria as we will all live a better life in a more insured environment. Fear is consumed by boldly taking opportunities, and the insurance industry in Nigeria offers massive opportunities if we get committed to bringing millions of Nigerians into the insurance ecosystem.

 

Reflect on the suggestions that affect you as you enjoy a more informed Democracy Day!

 

About The Author

Ekerete Olawoye Gam-Ikon, MNIM, CPP, is a management consultant with a specialization in Strategy and Insurance. He is available through e-mail olagamola@gmail.com

 

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.


Related Articles by Author

  1. Has the Insurance Act 2003 Made Nigerians Poorer These Past Five Years?
  2. Insurance Is For Others, Not You
  3. Can Insurance Lead Nigeria's Economic Stabilization?
  4. Crisis of Identity Management, COVID-19 And Insurance
  5. The Stalemate of Claims Payment
  6. Is Insurance the Silent Guardian for Nigeria?
  7. Insurance Before And After The Virus
  8. Insurances You Have, Unknown to You
  9. Insurance of Stolen Properties
  10. Insurance, Loved by Accident
  11. Fires, Markets and Insurance
  12.  The Road Called Recapitalization?
  13. Making Insurance Work in Nigeria: Structural Realignment Required
  14. What's A Support System Without Insurance?
  15. 2019 - The Year of More Insurance
  16. Insurance Recapitalization: Four Reasons Why NAICOM Should Be Transparent
  17. Insurance - Good Product, Served Poorly
  18. Why Fake Insurance Thrives in Nigeria
  19. Rebuilding Trust In Insurance Relationships
  20. Insurance and Nigeria's Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation
  21. Making Claims Payment the Basis Of Performance Measurement In The Insurance Sector
  22. 5 to 9 Insurance Questions for Nigeria at 59
  23. Insurance Broking: Is Diminishing Returns Setting In?
  24. An External Memo To The President: How The Insurance Sub-Sector Can Help
  25. Where Are The Insurance Amendment Bills Of 2008 And 2018?
  26. Kidnapping Insurance: Is It Hot In Nigeria?
  27. The Insurance Sub-Sector: Its Challenges As Opportunities For All
  28. Funeral Insurance - Bridging The Divide Between Culture and Financial Planning
  29. Insurance Recapitalization in Nigeria: What Policyholders Should Do Now!
  30. Nigeria: New Minimum Paid-Up Share Capital Policy For Insurance And Reinsurance Firms
  31. The Benefits of Standardizing the Insurance Industry
  32. Microinsurance And The New National Minimum Wage
  33. Insurance In Nigeria: Approaching 2020 Without Digital Solutions?
  34. PMB's Second Term and Buharinsurance
  35. Meeting The Insurance Needs Of Digital Natives

 

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.


Related News

  1. NAICOM Should Give Top Priority to Claims And Insurance Promotion In Nigeria - Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon
  2. Ekerete Ola Gam Ikon To Speak On NAICOM Recapitalization Extension Till 2021 Tomorrow on WebTV
  3. NAICOM Segments Capital Requirements for Insurance Companies; Extends Deadline to Sept 30th 2021
  4. Leadway Assurance Holds Virtual AGM; Pays N38.5bn Claims in 2019, as Total Assets grew to N394bn
  5. COVID-19 Pandemic Has Hit Every Industry Hard, And the Insurance Industry Is No Different
  6. EIOPA: European Insurers Face Increased Risk Exposures Due to COVID-19
  7. Old Mutual Celebrates 175 years of being the ''Certain friend in Uncertain Times''
  8. Ahead of Tomorrow on WebTV: Discussions on Post COVID-19: Repositioning Insurance In Nigeria
  9. ZENITH General Insurance's Profit Before Tax Rises By 16% to N3.67bn
  10. WAPIC Offers Health Workers 15% Premium Rebates on New Policy Uptake
  11. The Importance of Ijara Sukuk To Support Healthcare, Agriculture and Clean Energy
  12. Ahead of Tomorrow on WebTV: Discussion on COVID-19; Implications for The Nigerian Insurance Industry
  13. WAPIC Announces COVID-19 Palliatives; Offers Customers Refund on Motor Insurance Premiums
  14. COVID-19 Palliatives: Leadway Assurance gives back to Motor Insurance Clients
  15. NAICOM Mulls Extension of Recapitalization Exercise

 Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

 

 Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

 

 

READ MORE:
Related News
SCROLL TO TOP