‘Insurance penetration via financial inclusion will drive sector potential’
The nation’s insurance sector has revealed plans to create more knowledge of insurance, and further deepen its penetration with the view to increasing its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country.
This assertion was made at the investiture of the new president of the Chartered Insurance Institution of Nigeria (CIIN), by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari.
Represented by the Deputy Commissioner, Technical, Sunday Thomas, he said: “The current development in the country calls for collaborative effort stakeholders to reposition the sector with the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that no arm of the industry can do it standing alone.”
Meanwhile, an expert who spoke to The Guardian in confidence, said to achieve these goals will mean the insurance industry wholly embracing financial inclusion as well as developing the technical capacities to meet the emerging challenges of financial inclusion and micro-insurance.
Hence, this calls for more dynamic strategies to deepen insurance reach amongst the vast populace. He maintained that insurers must change their marketing strategy; product design and packaging must change; approach to policyholders and their complaints must change and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the message of insurance is taken to the grassroots.
According to him, “If the insurance market must move from its present level to an optimal pedestal within the financial services sector, then there must also be a consensus on how best to tackle the challenges facing the industry
The fundamentals for thriving insurance industry are there in the country -a vast population, an active economy and a well-capitalised industry.”
Kari had noted at this year’s Insurance Industry Consultative Council Conference (IICC) in Abuja, that the micro-insurance sector around the world has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, and is expected to double by 2020, producing coverage for over one billion people.
Thus, with the right products, micro-insurance would herald the much desired quantum leap in the industry. This significant growth brings new and exciting innovations in products addressing health, agriculture and property insurance,
Kari said value added aftersales services, especially efficient and timely claims settlement will aid the quest of repositioning the insurance industry as the pivot of economic growth and enhanced development.
The Director General, CIIN, Richard Olutayo Borokini, told The Guardian on how the industry can be viable among other sectors of the economy. He said insurance operators should work hard towards discouraging weak governance and transparency in their operations especially in the areas of poor quality and timeliness of accounting and disclosures.
According to him, financial inclusion is achieved when adults have easy access to a broad range of financial products designed according to their needs and provided at affordable cost.
In this regard, the underwriters should work towards developing programmes that will facilitate insurance literacy among the publics.
“People are the most important assets of an organisation and as such, the trade arms of the industry should through the process of self-regulation, persuade their members to regularly develop this asset in the