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Underwriters, brokers seal pact to drive insurance policy uptake

Worried by the poor insurance penetration in the country, underwriters are canvassing for a greater investment in the acquisition and deployment of contemporary technology and engagement with brokers to address the menace.

In the last three decades, insurance penetration in Nigeria has remained at an abysmal, owing to a number of factors, among which is the apathy by Nigerians to buy policies.

At insurance operators’ meetings with brokers’ meeting held recently experts bemoaned the failure of operators and stakeholders to effectively deploy technological tools to boost patronage of insurance products by the public.

Speaking to The Guardian at weekend on the development during a virtual Brokers Forum, organised by the FBNInsurance with its subsidiary, General Insurance and the new owners, the Sanlam Group, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBNInsurance, Val Ojumah, pledged to provide excellent services to teeming clients across the country.

Saying the forum was aimed at encouraging Brokers to drive insurance penetration,” hinged the problem of low insurance penetration in the country to the failure of professionals to leverage technology to grow the industry.

Ojumah, explained that insurance penetration in Nigeria is still not encouraging, compared to South Africa, which has the highest penetration in Africa with about 16 per cent.

Discussing global trends in the insurance industry, he stated that basic technology is shaping the way insurance companies across the world do business as consumers are looking for companies that will make a shift from paper to digital and are able to enhance insurance purchase and management experience from start to finish.

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Speaking at the Forum, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), Heinie Werth, stated that the core strategy of the Sanlam Group is to be one of the leading pan-African financial service providers. “With a business presence in 33 countries in Africa, the preferred service provider across the continent when it comes to providing financial solutions and it is part of ambition to be the -African financial services provider.”

According to him, following the transfer of ownership of FBNInsurance and its subsidiary, FBN General Insurance to Sanlam, Werth stressed that the role of the Group is to leverage Sanlam’s 103 year old pedigree and provide the Management of both companies with the requisite support and technical skills to bring new products and services to the Nigerian insurance market.

In the same vein, The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBN General Insurance, Bode Opadokun, on his part applauded the Brokers for their continued support to both businesses over the years while reassuring them: “We remain committed to partnering with you in offering innovative product solutions to our customers and we are open to more suggestions that would help improve our service delivery to you,” he said.

Industry expert, Segun Bamidele, who spoke at the forum, urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of insurance and stop the habit of going cap in hand to government anytime there is a major incident or disaster. In mature climes, citizens don’t run after government for aid when there is an incident or disaster, rather they go to their insurance companies because they believe in insurance and that insurers will pay commensurate compensation for their loss.

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Guardian

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