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Operator Blames Low Insurance Penetration On High Poverty Level

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The Chairman of the Insurance Industry Consultative Council, Mr Edwin Igbiti, has blamed the low level of insurance penetration in Nigeria on the high level of poverty in the country.

While speaking at the Welcome Dinner of the 2022 Media Retreat organised by IICC for members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Igbiti said even though insurance premium income has been increasing, it is still nothing to cheer about considering the population of the country. The theme of the seminar is “Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion”.

He therefore called on the Media to support the industry’s growth agenda in order to deepen insurance penetration in the country.

Igbiti, who is also the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), made the appeal yesterday

He described the media as critical to the industry’s growth agenda, and called on the members of NAIPE to promote and project the industry’s activities in their reports for the growth of the industry and national economy.

“We recognise the importance of the media In the growth of any industry. We know we cannot achieve our growth agenda without the media. The essence of this gathering is for us as an industry to bring you together to brief you on the activities of the industry and our plans for the future.

“It is, therefore, expected that as journalists, you are to tell our stories in your reports and analysis because we are in this together and we will continue to work together as partners in progress for the progress of the industry and the growth of the national economy.

“You have been trying but we need you more. You have to project this industry in the way and manner we want it to be,” Mr Igbiti pleaded.

Present at the event included the representatives from the various arms of the industry, namely the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), represented by the Director General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori; Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) represented by the Deputy President, Mr Tunde Oguntade; Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN), represented by its President, Mr. Dipo Olanrewaju.

Others who graced the occasion included the DG, CIIN Mrs Abimbola Tiamiyu; Executive Secretary/CEO, NCRIB, Mr Tope Adaramola; Assistant Director, Corporate Communications & Human Resources/Administration, NIA, Mr Davis Iyasere, among others.

The IICC was inaugurated in 2013 to act as the unifying voice of the insurance industry, representing it on national issues affecting the insurance industry, taking up and assuming other roles that would serve the best interest of the industry in Nigeria and providing lasting solutions to challenging issues within the insurance sector.

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Leadway Pensure introduces Instant Service Assistant

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LeadWay Pensure P.F.A. has announced the introduction of the Leadway Pensure Instant Service Assistant (L.I.S.A) as part of efforts to provide a seamless customer service experience for its diverse customers,.

L.I.S.A., an artificial intelligence-powered virtual tech assistant, dubbed the 'perfect superhuman assistant', is designed to deliver immersive, seamless, innovative, and real-time support for customers to access services, make their pension requests and receive updates, all on the go.

Speaking on this innovation, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Leadway Pensure, Lanre Idris, stated that the introduction of L.I.S.A. reflects the organisation's commitment to serving its customers exceptionally, leveraging disruptive and technology-enabled innovations for seamless, exceptional service delivery.

"Understanding the reality of the fast-paced world backed by a growing demand on brands and corporate organisations to provide real-time, convenient, and simple to use platforms for instantaneous and responsive engagement, we dug into our innovative capabilities to introduce the Leadway Pensure Instant Service Assistant (L.I.S.A.). This comprehensively researched and well-developed invention is a one-stop shop to access all our services at the comfort of our customers."

"With L.I.S.A., all the assistance our customers need, from pension updates, balance check-ups, the status of benefit payment, and changes in details, can be assessed from a hand-held device at any time, from any location. With this, customers no longer need to worry about waiting in the queue, getting stuck in transit, being held up at a contact centre, or putting a halt to their daily activity to access our wide range of services. Technology has made the world smaller, and we have leveraged the same to build L.I.S.A, the perfect, superhuman assistant for our enrolees", he added.

"In the same vein, we also upgraded the Leadway Pensure Mobile App to bolster the provision of exciting benefits such as the programmed withdrawal process, which allows the customer to access retirement benefits in periodic sums; and the enbloc RSA payment type, which ensures customers receive funds as a whole at the programmed time."

For customers to enjoy these services, they can send HELP to 07018000800 via WhatsApp, Telegram.

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For N15,000, Nigerians To Get N3m Motor Insurance Claims From 2023

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By Sola Alabadan

Based on the new rates approved by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), policyholders of Motor third-party insurance who paid N15,000 premium, will be eligible to collect N3 million claims in the event of an accident, from January 2023.

The new benefit to motor policyholders which was contained in a circular dated December 22, 2022, from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), also raised the cheapest and the most popular class of insurance in the country from N5,000 to N15,000, indicating a 200 per cent increase.

For buyers of comprehensive motor insurance, they shall not pay less than five per cent of the sum insured or the price of the vehicle after all rebates and discounts.

In the circular signed by its Director, Policy, and regulation, Leo Akah to all insurance institutions entitled, “New Premium Rates For Motor”, the sector regulator raises the claims and cost of insurance on all classes of motor insurance including motorcycles.

The highest cost in the new rates is N100,000 for a commercial truck/general cartage which also fetches the policyholders N5 million claims in the event of an accident.

The implication of this to the industry is an improved premium income in the class of business from the Year 2023. Until recently, the motor insurance class has been the major earner of income for some insurance underwriters and this new development will swell their income.

The industry earned a total of N77.7 billion from motor insurance in a period of six months covering April to September 2022. The class of business fetched the industry N32.4 billion between April and June and also, N45.3 billion between July and September.

Consequently, premium income from motor insurance is expected to improve the earnings of the industry operators by 200 percent following the addition of N10,000 to the cheapest third party which currently stands at N5,000.

The commission according to the circular stated that it was empowered to approve the new rates for motor insurance premiums by Section 7 of the NAICOM Act 1997 and other extant laws, noting that the new motor insurance premium rates become effective from January 1, 2023.

It warns that failure to comply with the circular shall attract appropriate regulatory sanction.

NAICOM in the new rates which states that third-party insurance policies are inclusive of the Ecowas Brown Card also approved an N20,000 premium for Own goods motor insurance while the policyholders will collect N5 million claims in the event of an accident. The new development fixed the premium rate on a staff bus at N20,000 while the insured can collect N3 million claims in the case of an accident.

For commercial vehicles, trucks/general cartage has a claims limit of N5 million while the new premium is N100,000; special types of insurance have a claims limit of N3 million while the new premium is N20,000, and owners of tricycles will pay N5,000 for insurance of each to enjoy N2 million claims. For motorcycle insurance, the new premium is N3,000 while the claims limit is now N1 million.

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Expert Advocates Collaborative Communication Campaign To Grow Insurance

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Expert who spoke at the 2022 Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC) Media Retreat has called for the creation of a dedicated jointly owned media vehicle by all stakeholders in the nation’s insurance industry that would serve as news agency on insurance content for sharing with other media houses.

Delivering the theme paper, “Media As Catalyst For Insurance Inclusion,” at the event organized for members of the Nigerian Association of Insurance and Pension Editors (NAIPE) at the weekend in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Head, Corporate Communication, Polaris Bank Limited and President, Association of Corporate & Marketing Communications Professionals in Banks (ACAMB), Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa said, “There is a need for a deliberate collaborative campaign for national awareness about the importance of insurance.

“A dedicated jointly owned media vehicle should be created by all stakeholders to serve as a news agency on insurance content shared with other media houses.

“Regulatory bodies in the Nigerian insurance industry are expected to partner the Nigerian media industry towards creating a diverse and inclusive newsroom; that has content development and coverage strategy that builds audience trust in insurance and provides for a better representation of different societies.”

Speaking on issues militating against insurance penetration in Nigeria, Mr Bolarinwa mentioned doubts about insurance companies, hostile economy, trust issues emanating from hidden clauses, inadequate access to Information Technology, weak regulatory framework, lack of skilled personnel and poor awareness of insurance services by the prospective assured, among other factors.

He said ”The response that follows the mention of insurance or insurance companies to an average Nigerian is predictable. Negative reactions and lukewarm attitude are the kinds of feeling that come with an invitation to insurance policies. This informed the low patronage and acceptance of insurance companies operating in Nigeria.

“This untoward reaction and attitude by Nigerians may not be unrelated to the poor attitude of the insurers towards the often repeated chorus of refusal to pay claims. Some insurance companies have truly developed a bad reputation for defaulting in the payment of claims. This unfortunately grew to become a negative public emblem that hangs beside their corporate identities. Invariably, the industry and the nation’s depleting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are big losers.”

While giving kudos to the industry for paying huge claims on losses suffered by millions insured, Bolarinwa said “Things have changed though as underwriters have paid and are still paying huge claims on losses suffered by millions of insured that we read daily in the media.”

On how the hostile economy is affecting insurance industry, Bolarinwa said “At this moment, insurance companies are not willing to invest the premiums in long-term instruments because of the fear of inflation built up over several years due to fiscal indiscipline and high inflation. Everybody knows in economics that short-term investment can only bring lower returns. With these trends, insurance companies will only be able to run on the spot; underwriters would not be able to pay claims. Only a viable economy that has a robust business environment can allow insurance companies to thrive.”

Stressing on the need to demystify insurance to take its pride of place in the nation’s economy, the communications expert said, “Insurance will only take its pride of place as a big contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it applies in other jurisdictions when all stakeholders in the risk ecosystem are deliberate, consistent and methodical in simplifying what insurance is all about in words and deed. Firstly, there must be a unanimity of purpose to bake insurance and make it BI enough for all to benefits from the expected windfall.”
Bolarinwa proposed that “insurance should be presented as a Lifestyle add, adding a significant value, enhancing life and living. Creative and interesting story-telling narratives delivered with moving and crisp visuals delivered across digital and traditional platforms with strong orchestration and amplifications. There is bound to be a ‘Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)’ as the end product, which is all that is needed for the immense opportunities in the sector to be unleashed.”

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