Saturday, February 13, 2021 /08:10 AM / OpEd By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon
/ Header Image Credit:Cpj.org
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
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
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
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 email@example.com and mobile +234-806-648-1111
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