By Chiamaka Ajeamo
Nigerian insurance companies have said that they are set to increase the insurance adoption level in the country through improved products and quality service delivery.
The operators reached this agreement following their deliberations and resolutions at the recently concluded 47th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference in Lagos; stressing that the decision will increase the penetration rate in the country as well as meet the financial inclusion goal.
Speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AIICO Insurance Plc, Babatunde Fajmirokun, said that there is need to harness the potentials of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for growth and development in the Nigerian insurance market.
Fajemirokun also stated the need to develop new insurance products and solutions, especially in the property and casualty segments.
“This is in readiness for the systemic nature of climate induced damages,” he said.
He also called for increased access through digital innovation and wider distribution.
On claims payment, Fajemirokun charged operators to leverage on a wide range of digital ecosystems to reduce manual interventions in claims related tasks.
According to him, this initiative will stimulate improvements in claims processing, administration as well as fraud detection operations.
On her part, the Managing Director/CEO, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Joyce Ojemudia, said that digital expansion and continuous training of staff are keys the industry needs to tap into the opportunities provided by the conference.
According to Ojemudia, the world is totally digital and for the industry to improve it must be totally committed to digital expansion.
She added that local and intentional collaborations would be critical to deepening penetration in Nigeria and on the continent.
Moving on, the Managing Director Tangerine Insurance Plc, Mr. Ademuyiwa Adeduro, said that claim settlement is key to the core value proposition of the industry.
He said: “It is expected that players will key into ever evolving technology in upscaling service delivery with respect to claims management. The use of drone, robotics and artificial intelligence and electronic payment platform and synchronization of enterprise resource programmes will assist the industry in better claims management, prevention of fraudulent claims and availability of data for decision making.”
Commenting on product development, he said, “it is no longer buzz words. It is either we innovate or we die. One thing for sure is that insurance will not die but some companies may die due to lack of innovation.”
Adeduro added that cyber risk coverage and technology enabled services are areas seeking innovative products from the industry.
For the Executive Director, Technical, AIICO Insurance Plc, Adewale Kadiri, some companies have been committed to prompt claims payment and will continue to do so as long as they are in business.
He noted that “the conference has added colour to the need to enhance our reputation as an industry and I think prompt claims payments can assist us to achieve the desired heights.
Kadiri stressed that it is imperative to invest in R&D to facilitate product developments in the industry.
He said: “There are a lot of emerging risks which need insurance covers. But there is need for reinsurance support to enable insurers get required capacity and underwrite the business on a large scale except you want to take the risks for your net account which may not be significant.”
Leveraging on the federal and state government participation at the conference, the Chief Executive Officer, Royal Exchange General Insurance Limited (REGIC), Benjamin Agili, urged the regulator and the umbrella body to continue their engagement and enforcement of market rates and compulsory insurances.
According to him, “these relationships have to be ongoing and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) as well as Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) need to take the relationship to the next level. Lobby group within the industry to scale up the relationship are is important”.