Why insurance industry must fight for space- Expert

An Insurance expert, Mr Ekerete Gam-Ikon, has reiterated the need for insurance operators to ensure Nigerians have a positive mindset regarding Insurance policies in the country.

Gam-Ikon said this in an interview with journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that there was the need for insurance professionals and practitioners to realise they were in a contest for 99 per cent of the Nigerian population presently without any form of insurance policy.

According to him, with the right attitude of operators, Nigerians will be encouraged to take up more insurance policies that will help grow the industry and the economy at large.

He urged the operators to focus on policy holders who would readily share wonderful experiences that would encourage others to key in and thus, deepen insurance penetration in the country.

On ways of deepening penetration, Gam-Ikon said it was important for the Insuring public to be enlightened in the language they understand on the importance of insurance.

According to him, the methods used should also be what people are used to, for example, rather than expect people to come to your office, let them use payment platforms available for other services.

“The people have become aware but still lack knowledge of the value of insurance, therefore, operators need to be more active in the space people are occupying, social media, radio and events.

“Websites also should be more enlightening and educative not only about products but also on how to start and finish an insurance transaction.

According to Gam-Ikon, the recently inaugurated Insurance Entrepreneurs’ Series in Abuja, is one of the efforts geared toward enlightening the public on self, inclusive and compulsory insurance.

He said participants at the event unanimously agreed that inclusive insurance would deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria if operators used languages and methods the active poor were familiar with.

While acknowledging the role the regulator was playing toward deepening insurance penetration in the country, Gam-Ikon, however, said a lot more still needed to be done.

“The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) should communicate more with other government MDAs and States to make things easier for operators, thus, promote the Ease of Doing Business.

“They must continue to ensure zero tolerance for unsettled claims as the experiences of insurance customers is giving the administration a bad image.

“Unsettled claims have made claimants to visibly post and tweet that Insurance in Nigeria is a fraud, a scam and this is not good for business at all.’’

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