Insurance industry players have charged Nigerians to insure their respective lives and assets as this remains the best risk mitigation mechanism against eventual loss.
The experts, who spoke at the 3rd National Conference organised by the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents(NAIPCO) in Lagos recently, stated that contrary to the belief that insurers don’t pay claims, they said, claims settlement in insurance industry is actually growing on a yearly basis.
Pleading on the people to adopt insurance, Managing Director, Law Union & Rock Insurance PLC, Mr.Jide Orimolade, said, such adoption will give peace of mind to policyholders, even as the policies are not expensive.
“When you have insurance as a family head to cater for your needs, I can tell you at the end of the day if something happen to the head of the family, the wife and other dependants will feel very comfortable and they will be happy that the man has been able to provide something,” he stressed.
Promising policyholders of prompt settlement of their claims when insured risk occurs, he added that insurers are now paying claims as the volume of claims paid in the last three years has been impressive.
“In 2014 for general business (non-life business) N51 billion was paid; for life business, we paid N85.9 billion. Combined together, in 2014 insurance industry paid N87 billion. In 2015, N87 billion increased to N105 billion and in 2016 it further increased to N119 billion meaning that insurance industry do pay claims,” he stated.
In the same vein, the Director General, Nigerian Insurers Association(NIA), Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said, life itself is a risk and that risk is uncertainty of the outcome of an event that has whether two or more possibilities.
“This can involve life or possessions that we hold and we hold very dearly. Something that happen could be uncertainty of the risk that we face is the fact that the outcome of it could be the possibility of a loss. This loss can be financial, emotional, psychological or sentimental,” she pointed out.
Stating that people have different ways of handling their risk as some try to avoid risk by ensuring that they remove all possibilities of getting involved in losses, she added that, “This is not enough because no matter what you do, you still have that small element that you cannot predict. So, adoption of insurance is key.”
Urging insurers to understand what the buyers are looking for, how they want it as well as where they want, this, she said, would drive a change in their behavioural pattern when it comes to deploying their limited resources.
“Accessibility is another issue. If insurance products are readily accessible to the people, it will attract more people and if we deploy it through a familiar terrain such as the GSM networks and other familiar terrains like the banks, people will take advantage of this and embrace insurance, thereby, deepening penetration as well contribute to nation’s economy,” she advised.
On his part, the Director General, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Mr. Olayinka Odutola, while stating that the religious nature of the country also has a great role to play in insurance of lives and properties, he said, the Christian and the Muslim folks will always say ‘God Forbids’ when insurance is introduced to them.
If insurers want to make a difference, Odutola charged them to take the gospel of insurance to churches and mosques where there are millions of religious followers nationwide.
“As insurance operators, we must go to the market places, churches and mosques, organise road shows in Oshodi; Ojuelegba; Ikotun, among others and address the retail market where people are densely populated to sell insurance ,” he said.