The role of insurance as a risk mitigating instrument has been revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic hence, the need for the government, businesses and Nigerians to embrace insurance to shield against uncertainties as such; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Anchor Insurance Company Limited, Ebose Augustine, has said.
Ebose who stated this in an interview recently, explained that the impact of COVID-19 has created deeper awareness for insurance, noting that it has made most people who had before now regarded insurance as a “yahoo yahoo business” to come to terms with the importance of risk coverage.
Expressing his displeasure over government’s non-chalant attitude toward insurance and welfare packages for its workers, he stated that some state governments have no health insurance, public liability, group personal accident or even group life policy for their staff.
He , therefore, called on the government to learn from the COVID-19 experience so far and provide the necessary insurance covers for its workforce.
He added: “Early this year when an award was given to Anchor Insurance, I called on government at all levels to brace up for challenges in future by providing insurance for their workforce. It was as if I was talking as a prophet then. But now, it has happened.
“Even the business community is not left out. Before now, most business concerns looked away from taking business interruption covers for their operations. Also, most employees would not see the need to pick the loss of employment insurance covers because there will be job losses after the pandemic. Whatever effects they must be feeling now would have been mitigated if they had picked policies of the types I have mentioned here.”
However, Ebose noted he was optimistic that with everyone now knowing the damage such situations as this could cause to businesses, economy and human lives, more people were likely to embrace insurance when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is over in Nigeria.
Speaking on claims settlement in this period, he said the insurance sector was experiencing high ratio but with the adequate and necessary re-insurance plans already put in place as well as the insurance reserve, the sector has been up to its task.
On measure put in place to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the industry’s operations, he said they have to cut down some expenditure and channel their resources to those things that are necessary now.
“Now Information Technology (IT) is taking more money because when you are cutting from one side, you use it to support the other side. Before now, face mask and hand sanitizers were not in our budget but now we have to add them. The need for social distancing has, for instance, made us in Anchor Insurance to buy more cars for staff use to avoid using public transport and to ensure they remain healthy and productive.”