By Chiamaka Ajeamo, [email protected]
The festive period is here again with its atmosphere of nostalgic-excitement as people begin to unwind from the long drawn activities of the outgoing year. It is indeed, a time for setting the mood for jolly celebrations, rest and fun. You could almost feel the joy and bliss of Christmas in every corner as the streets are lit up with sensational decorations, carol songs and cheers.
Nigerians are generally known to cherish communal lifestyle throughout this season because Christmas is pereceived to be a time to show and receive affection.
Majority of the cetizens see the period as a time to spend time with family members and loved ones, hence the travelling spree across different states.
But amidst these thrills, risks and dangers lurk around the corner.
Travelers for instance are often vulnerable to a variety of accidents and disasters, including illnesses, armed robbery, and kidnapping. Indeed, it is a season of celebrations, one cannot neglect the fact that it is also a time many fatal crashes occur in the country. For instance, an increase in alcohol consumption combined with congestion and distraction on the roads often results to more hazards.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 and its variants still menacing the country, there are higher risks of infections with large gatherings of people in different parts of the country; hence it is necessary to stay safe at all costs.
According to health and safety experts, staying safe during these festive period will require certain measures like: being cautious of fire as most fire outbreaks occur during festivities. When travelling, it is advised you travel in groups and keep in touch with close friends and families on your location, run regular and maintenence checks on your vehicle if travelling by road, ensure your surroundings are free from accidents at all cost and for health reasons associated with the COVID-19, travellers are advised to avoid very large gatherings instead, attend only small meetings that comply with COVID-19 precautions. However, if you need to attend any large gathering, keep a social distance and limit the time you spend at such an event.
Also, the public is advised to limit the consumption of alcohol. “Alcohol is a major risk factor for injury and should not be combined with driving. Whether you’re walking, two-wheeled, or four-wheeled, even with a small amount of alcohol, the risk is significantly higher. It is always safest not to drink. However, if you do, you should stay within the recommended speed limits”, they stated.
While it is recommended that everyone remain cautious and vigilant, insurers have affirmed that these risks can be mitigated by purchasing some basic insurance coverage for the holiday season at affordable prices. This is to give people a protected but a jolly festive season.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the Brand, Media and Communications Manager, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Mr Bankole Banjo, said due to the high rate of incidences and accidents during this period, occasioned by increased travels and above board social activities, it is important everyone who has a loved one gets a Term Assurance.
Banjo explained Term Assurance as a life insurance policy that assures loved ones are not left stranded should life happen to them. He said, “The good thing about Term Assurance is you could buy to cover just the festive period. It is that flexible. The very little premium for a sizeable sum is assured.
“It should be noted that the quality of festivity one may get to enjoy during the yuletide is largely a function of how well the outgoing year has been. Therefore, seeing as this year gradually coming to an end and another beginning in a couple of days, it may be wise to plan for the next yuletide from today. A year-long savings plan with a life insurance cover would be a smart choice going into the New Year. It is a way to save for the festivities while assuring the best of your loved ones should uncertainties happen in the course of the year”.
According to the Group Head, Financial Institution, Heirs Insuance Limited, Ifeoma Peace Noah, one essential insurance cover that should be prioritised during this period for many reasons including the peace of mind that it offers while people commute across fun destinations is the motor insurance policy.
“Spending time with friends and family is something we all look forward to during the Christmas season. A lot of travels are made within the country during this season, and it is so critical for family and loved ones to enjoy the festive period safely and without financial constraints.
“At Heirs Insurance, we offer all drivers the options to choose from four variants of our motor insurance. Our popular comprehensive motor plan offers full coverage when the unexpected happens to your car. For a little sum, if there is an accident, we step in and take care of the damage bills as well as offer car replacement in extreme cases.
“Our Flexi Comprehensive Motor Insurance options are more affordable alternatives for those who want a cover for themselves and the third party; available from as little as N15,000 per year. This is a popular option for those who want a comprehensive cover at a fraction of the cost.
“It is important that while we enjoy spending time with loved ones, we should also play our part. You need to ensure that your car is checked regularly for underlying issues, drive carefully at a speed that is advised and definitely not under the influence of alcohol, and obey road and traffic signs to avoid accidents and other unplanned situations. Health is wealth and for us, your safety is our priority,” she said.
Also speaking, Insurance expert and Consultant, Mr Ekerete Gam-Ikon, said considering the risks faced by people during this period, namely accidents, deaths, thefts and illnesses, it is highly advised they purchase travel and personal accident insurance against accidents; asides from the life insurance against deaths; property and motor insurance against thefts; and health insurance against illnesses.
Gam-Ikon, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Finterate Projects Nigeria, explained that these types of insurance are offered by all licensed insurance companies but the advice is for people to employ the free services of an insurance brokers, so that in the event of claims, they can be sure to get due compensation.
“When you consider the risks faced by people during this period, namely accidents, deaths, thefts and illnesses, then we would advise people to take up travel and personal accident insurance against accidents; life insurance against deaths; property and motor insurance against thefts; and health insurance against illnesses.
“These covers are essential because people are likely to be in a situation where if any of these risks crystallize, they will likely not be in a position to be relieved. Insurance is affordable and accessible so people should get the one that suits them. Like I say to people, one insurance policy keeps poverty away,” he expressed.