This is the real problem; how to attract more people to insurance. The problems are old and seem insoluble. In my opinion, this is both a policy and a process issue; the issue of advancement and progress; and the issue of personnel and professionalism. And because they only seem insurmountable, they can be overcome, resolved, and improved. With about 100 million Nigerians living below the poverty line, it’s no surprise that many of them cannot afford to pay insurance premiums under the current agreement.
The bulk of the population lives from hand to mouth, so there is little room for anything else when the bare necessities are barely taken care of. Nigerians will only like affordable and flexible insurance with clear key benefits. What will work is something that doesn’t tax the pocket or the brains of the man in the street. People who find funds for card top-ups, sports betting, and occasional weekend treats can find money for premium if that makes sense to them.
When people talk about ignorance in insurance, it goes beyond ignorance of its existence. It’s a matter of trust. True mass acceptance is necessarily a function of ubiquitous access and trust. Once people understand why, nothing can stop them from investing in the future through insurance. This brings us back to education, awareness and access.
The only way to be sure of the future is to radically change the insurance industry as a whole. The current cosmetic make-up does not fit. The industry needs a major overhaul. Regulators must consider policies that will fundamentally change how the industry conducts its business, interacts with its customers and, in essence, who can participate in the business.
A truly functional microinsurance scheme is required. In the recent past
I believe that now the Commission should take another look at the microinsurance market. Currently, it barely scratches the surface. Enabling policies, adapting laws and regulations, and building sector-wide institutional capacity are needed to get started and truly thrive.
Firms that will provide services need to understand how they have evolved. License fees should be affordable to operators. Naturally, there will be close monitoring of transactions to prevent abuse and ensure that they remain direct and narrow.
While microinsurance can typically be provided through a variety of institutional channels, including licensed insurers, health care providers, community organizations and nongovernmental organizations, in
Eromosele, corporate communications specialist and public relations analyst, lives in