The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has restated its commitment to increasing insurance awareness and senstitisation exercise, in a bid to deepen penetration in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy visit of the new executives of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) to the council’s headquarter in Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos, its president, Mrs. Bola Onigbogi, promised to work with the new executives of NAIPCO to increase insurance acceptance as well as its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
According to her, a lot of Nigerians are still ignorant of what values insurance can bring to their respective lives, while some still habour the misconception that insurance companies don’t pay claims, hence, the need to drive awareness and education from the media perspective to change this narrative.
She believes that the growth of insurance industry requires collective efforts, saying, the media is critical and an important stakeholder in the journey to develop the insurance segment of the nation’s economy.
While appreciating the efforts of NAIPCO members in their drive to educate Nigerians through their informed write-ups and news reporting, she urged them to be positive in reporting as the death of the industry will also negatively reflect on the reporters covering the sector.
She applauded the current executives for embarking on series of projects aimed at complementing the efforts of Insurance companies and brokers to deepen Insurance penetration and acceptance, promising that, the council will, just as it has done in the past, continue to support the association in its plans to grow and develop the sector.
Similarly, the vice president, NCRIB, Mr. Tunde Oguntade, said, the relationship between the council and the media, especially, insurance correspondents, has always been positive, promising to extend such gesture to the current executives of NAIPCO, so that, together, they can grow the industry.
“We have had a cordial relationship with your predecessors and the current executives at NCRIB are ever ready to support you to succeed in all your plans. We need to positively project the industry and we, the brokers, are already doing that through our several initiatives,” he pointed out.
The executive secretary, NCRIB, Mr. Fatai Adegbenro, added that both the media and the council are critical stakeholders and must together work to grow the industry.
Insurance, he said, drives the economy in advanced countries, stating that, this is a point Nigeria must aspire to be, through increased contribution to the nation’s GDP, saying, “we are all stakeholders in the industry and the public tends to believe anything that comes from the media, hence, the need to throw caution, so as not to feed the public with lies or hearsay. The role of journalists is to inform and we must give the right information to the people yearning for information.”
Earlier, the president, NAIPCO, Mr. Chuks Okonta, said, his administration is embarking on developmental journalism, which involves providing critical answers to issues affecting the insurance industry.
The motive of this style of journalism, he stressed, is to grow the sector through increased searchlights on the operations of Insurance companies, brokers and other players to ensure that they are playing their respective roles effectively.
On Company Profiling, he said, the association will profile the management, claims or/and product of an underwriting firm, write about it in the most subtle language and human angle perspective to ensure the public truly understands the operations of insurance companies in the country.
He further listed other programmes of the association, which includes: the NAIPCO Annual National Conference, Trumpet Journal, Advert To News Initiative(ATN), among others.
Emirates Offers Travellers $500,000 Multi-risk Travel Cover
Emirates airlines has announced that it will provide travellers a multi- risk travel cover worth $ 500 , 000 on top of its current COVID-19 cover.
The airline stated that the new multi- risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover will automatically apply to all Emirates tickets purchased from December 1 , and extend to Emirates codeshare flights operated by partner airlines , as long as the ticket number starts with 176.
Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive , Ahmed bin Al Maktoum was quoted as saying , “ Emirates was the first airline to offer complimentary global COVID -19 cover for travellers back in July , and the response from our customers has been tremendously encouraging.
“ We have not rested on our laurels and instead continued to look at how we can offer our customers an even better proposition. We are very pleased to be able to now provide this new multi- risk travel insurance and COVID – 19 cover , which is another industry first, to all our customers.”
He added, “ We aim to give our customers even more confidence in making their travel plans this winter and moving into 2021 by the launch of this feature .”
Highlights of the coverage include out -of – country emergency medical expenses and evacuation up to $ 500 ,000 , valid for COVID -19 ( contracted during the trip ) and other medical emergencies while travelling abroad.
It also involves trip cancellation up to $ 7 ,500 for non- refundable costs if the traveller or a relative ( as defined in the policy ) is unable to travel because they are diagnosed with COVID- 19 before the scheduled trip departure date , or for other named reasons – similar to other comprehensive travel cover products.
COVID-19 Pandemic Poses Severe Challenges To African Insurers, AIO Reveals
By Sola Alabadan
The Africa Insurance Pulse launched today by the Africa Insurance Organisation (AIO) indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic posed severe challenges to Africa’s insurers, even as the insurers expect further uncertainty in the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
As in the past, this 5th edition of the Insurance Pulse titled “Growth perspectives of African re-/insurance markets”, is based on diligent market research and in-depth interviews with insurer, reinsurers and brokers operating in the continent.
The research was conducted by Faber Consulting on behalf of the AIO and sponsored by Africa Re.
Jean Baptiste Ntukamazina, Secretary General of AIO, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caught the global insurance industry largely unprepared. Those African insurance and reinsurance companies with a strong capital base, and the ability to distribute their products digitally were better equipped to weather the impact of the pandemic. This will enable them to capitalise faster on the business opportunities arising after the crisis.”
Capital & digitalisation as unique strategic differentiators in times of COVID-19
Those African insurers with a strong capital basis and already established digital distribution channels were better prepared to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The combination of both factors protected them against the worst effects of the crisis and enabled them to maintain their client relations even during lockdown periods or in a social-distancing environment. As these insurers strengthened their market position during the pandemic, they will be even stronger in capturing those business opportunities, rising in the future.
Regulators focused on protecting African policyholders
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, regulatory authorities have given re-/insurers more time to cushion the impact from the sudden contraction of the economy. At the same time, they encouraged re-/insurers to pay claims promptly. Those re-/insurers operating according to risk-based capital regimes were better prepared to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr. Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Africa Re said: “Insurance regulation in Africa has significantly improved in recent years. Various regulators have pushed ahead, mandating the implementation of risk-based capital schemes or capital increases, as well as improved operations and risk management. At the same time, we witness rising protectionist efforts to retain insurance and reinsurance premiums locally. Regulators should assure that in particular in times of economic distress, insurers have access to the highly-rated risk capacity and expertise that well-diversified reinsurer provides. Indeed, some recent catastrophes, including large natural catastrophes or man-made claims in South Africa, Cameroon and Lebanon, and in addition to the threat presented by COVID-19 potentially related claims remind us that some exposures can quickly exceed local capacity.”
The pandemic will change the African insurance landscape & reduce top-line of insurers
Senior executives predict that COVID-19 will lead to an accelerated consolidation of Africa’s insurance industry, eliminating those companies with limited resources and fragile processes. Such a shake-out would strengthen the continent’s insurance markets and benefit policyholders through higher security and a drive for more innovation.
Executives expect an improved risk awareness among consumers, leading to higher demand for insurance products. However, executives are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the income of African households. They expect that policyholders will limit their spending and favour savings for fear of a reduction in income or job losses. This, in turn, will affect their insurance purchasing behaviour, ultimately leading to a decrease in premium income.
Andreas Bollmann, Partner at Faber Consulting, commented: “Despite the impact from COVID-19, Africa’s insurers and reinsurers remain confident of the fundamental growth potential of their market. They believe that the effects of the pandemic will be offset by an accelerated digital transformation, supportive government and regulatory policies, and increased risk awareness by consumers.”
For the remainder of 2020 and 2021, Africa’s insurance executives expect a continuation of the high level of uncertainty. Re-/insurers have to maintain adequate solvency, ensure operational resilience and remain responsive to customer needs. In 2020 insurers introduced large-scale transformative investments to redefine their core value proposition, optimise operations, update technology and to build a workforce for the future. In 2021 they have to continue on this path of strengthening their competitiveness and thus contributing to a more robust marketplace.
AIO was established in 1972 in Mauritius as a non-governmental organisation recognised by many African governments.
Currently, the AIO has 365 members, 345 of them from 47 countries in Africa and 15 associate international members from 9 countries.
Insurance, Pension Operators Tasked On Investment Drive, Proper Information Dissemination
Insurance and pension operators in Nigeria have been charged to embark on aggressive investment drive, while providing regular information to their shareholders and other stakeholders.
A financial analyst, Mr. Nona Awo, also urged insurance and pension operators to avail journalists of relevant data to ensure proper dissemination of information to the teeming populace.
He spoke at the 2020 National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) Members’ Training on Developmental Financial Journalism in Lagos recently.
Awo pointed out that even though the primary duty of the insurer is to collect premium the policyholders and pay claims to these policyholders when the need arises, it is, however, first an investment targeted at curbing risk.
He revealed that there are a lot of investment windows in the country when maximised capable of placing the insurance industry in a better position to increase its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It is important to talk about investment in insurance as it tells you about today and tomorrow returns,” he said. He called on insurers to appoint investment experts on their board of Directors to make good profit from investment made.
He highlighted poor investment habit as one of the major reasons why some insurers find it difficult to settle claims when it arises. “One of the major challenges in the industry is claims settlement which can be resolved with proper investment plans that gives outstanding returns,” he stressed.
In a similar vein, media career development specialist, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, who spoke on Developmental Reporting and Opportunities, described data journalism as the ability to analyse and examine numbers and to know how to manage large data sets and read them correctly.
During his address, Otufodunrin urged journalists to focus more on reporting and analysing data while reporting insurance activities to promote awareness and sensitise the public on the need to insure.
According to him, story telling should be enhanced with infographics, data analysis, transcripts, to mention but a few
He stressed that, the industry needs a workflow that consists of digging deep into data by scraping, cleansing and structuring it, filtering by mining for specific information, visualising and making a story.
“Our platforms are no longer traditional, we are now multi-media, our audience are now more sophisticated and have access to multiple sources of information” he added.