Wednesday, February 12, 2020 / 06:35 PM
/By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon / Header Image Credit: Independent Newspaper
It is true that most people who studied insurance at the University, especially in the 20th century, did so by accident.
I know this about Nigeria because as part of my personal research work, years ago, to have a better understanding of the insurance industry here, I enquired from employees and applicants with First Degree in Insurance and their responses were both intriguing and informative.
To a good number of them, insurance was OFFERED to them in place of other more attractive programmes that they could not get admission to study. If you know how admissions were considered then, people just wanted to attend the universities they admired, and interestingly, insurance was offered by only two or three leading universities, so anyone studying it was special.
Many years before then, it had also happened that young Nigerians who landed the United Kingdom for studies either changed their courses or were encouraged to do so and they returned home as graduates of a course that was least known here - insurance.
The Attraction in Insurance
Long before the business of insurance in Nigeria became something for insurers with multibillion income, the insurance brokers had taken some good bites of the pie and became the envy of many other professionals.
Though the emphasis in those times was on reputation, the insurance brokers were already smiling to the bank with tonnes of money (commission) from intermediation for large manufacturing companies and marine activities.
Insurance companies dotted the Marina in Lagos with highrise buildings as evidence of the successes achieved by people who got into something by accident.
It was quite easy for other professionals to notice how the insurance brokers would usually come in with files on insurance contracts and go with six-figure cheques!
The Test of Love
As always, there comes a time when one's love, commitment, loyalty and faith would be put to test; in the case of the insurance brokers, it came by way of claims from "their customers" (policyholders).
Who remembers the days, years ago, when insurance brokers would settle claims of policyholders to retain the love between themselves pending when the insurer would pay? Such instances were the results of intrigues in the relationship between the insurance broker and the policyholder on one hand, and between the insurance broker and the insurance company on the other hand.
If you thought that love had no place in business, you needed to understand the relationships between insurance brokers and OTHERS, from manufacturers to bankers and real estate developers; people that met mostly by accident and stayed loyal to one another.
Yet, it was not meant to last forever!
Today's Robotic Love
Customers and businesses alike, having become irritated and frustrated by disappointments and mistrust, now seek no more love but simple responses from robots and machines that have no emotions, no sentiments and no attitudes.
It is the way insurance, like other businesses, have to go to remain connected and relevant.
The love of digital solutions transcend language, gender and class. With only your password or PIN, you can have access to a world where accidents can be predicted, how much more love?
For the reason of the apathy continually expressed by the public against insurance, it makes all the sense in the world for insurers to invest in robots and machines that will give customers what the insurance industry is either unable to give or is not acknowledged for giving.
Interestingly, the prevailing season calls for insurers that now have eleven-figure CAPITAL to invest in what customers love rather than what they fell in love with by accident many years ago.
We are all looking forward to much improved and more exciting insurance experiences in Nigeria and Africa.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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