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Insurance regulator asks operators to redesign products, marketing strategies

By on September 13, 2014

In order for operators in the insurance sector to remain relevant in the economy, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel has stressed the need for them (operators) to change the way they design and market their products as well as how they treat their customers.

He stated this in a keynote address entitled, “Insurance Industry: New Trends, New Strategies,” at the ongoing 2014 Professionals’ Forum organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, (CIIN) in Abeokuta.

“We must as a matter of deliberate policy come up with new ways of doing the business in order to achieve better results. Our marketing strategy must change; our product design and packaging must change; our approach to policyholders and their complaints must change and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the message of insurance is taken to the grassroots.

“If we must move the insurance market from its present level to an optimal pedestal within the financial services sector, then there must also be a consensus on how best to tackle the challenges,” he said.

Continuing, he said: “We have a lot to offer but we seem not to be taking advantage of the huge potential before us. The fundamentals for thriving insurance industry are there in the country; a vast population, an active economy and a well-capitalised industry.”

The commissioner said National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) recently gave financial support to six universities and two polytechnics as a mark of its commitment to insurance education in the country.

He said the gesture was a demonstration of NAICOM’s commitment to raising the standard of insurance education in tertiary institutions across the country.

“NAICOM is actively committing resources to up-scaling insurance education in tertiary institutions in the country. In furtherance of this resolve, higher institutions have benefitted from our financial support,” he said.

The beneficiaries were Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Lagos, Akoka; Lagos State University, Ojo; University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State; Niger Delta University; Bayelsa; and Evans Ewerem University, Owerri.

The two polytechnics were the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu; and Federal Polytechnic, Offa in Kwara State.
The commissioner also assured institutions that are yet to receive part of the largesse from the regulatory body to tarry a while, saying the idea was to cover the six geopolitical zones before extending it to other institutions.

Daniel however, commended the insurance professional body for the recent donation of Insurance books for secondary schools to the Lagos and Ogun States governments.

“The noble efforts culminated in the expenditure of over N15 million for the production of textbooks and professional course materials at both levels of education,” he stressed.

He also gave the institute a pat on the back for setting up the Insurance Industry Consultative Council (IICC), which is currently serving platform for addressing the differences of the various arms of the industry and a voice for the industry on national issues.

The commissioner, who noted that the promotion of financial literacy is a major project of the federal government, said the commission was committed to it and other programmes that would increase insurance penetration in the country.

“The promotion of financial literacy in our country at this time coincides with the commission’s focus on micro-insurance, takaful and agricultural insurance as a vehicle for reaching our teaming masses.

“It is gladdening to note that a number of insurance companies have entered into partnership with telecom companies as a means of selling insurance products to their vast clientele. We shall continue to encourage and support all activities aimed at uplifting the insurance industry,” Daniel said.

He said with the right products, “micro-insurance would herald the much desired quantum leap in the industry, adding that this significant growth brings new and exciting innovations in products addressing health, agriculture and property insurance.


[This Day]