The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has urged insurance operators to ensure timely recovery and restoration of businesses affected by the recent #EndSARS riots.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, stated this at the ongoing Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) 2020 Insurance Professionals’ Forum in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He also urged the insurers to display their role in reinforcing the economic resilience of individuals, businesses and the economy at large.
Thomas said, “More recently, widespread protests, civil unrest and destruction of properties and others have created further socio-economic hardship and barriers for business profitability and growth.
“As Nigeria reals in the pain of the destruction and losses suffered this year, the Nigerian Insurance Industry must utilize the opportunity to lead in the quick recovery and restoration of the affected businesses and also showcase its role in reinforcing the economic resilience of individuals, businesses and the economy at large.
“Therefore, the theme of this year’s Professional’s Forum, “Defining the Future of the Insurance Industry”, is apt and timely”.
The Insurance Chief noted that the suddenness of the COVID-19 pandemic imposed immense pressure on all businesses including insurance business.
He stressed that pressures faced by consumers in the form of reduced finance and business activities, lack of access to credit, expiration and wastage of perishable goods, temporary or permanent business closures and employee contract terminations, life threatening illnesses and deaths all combined to increased the propensity for claims.
According to him, one of the major challenges for insurers was the inability to market/sell insurance products to consumers during the pandemic which, in turn, reduced the premium income.
This he pointed out, has necessitated the need for a robust online automated marketing and feedback system in order to reduce the dependence on in-person sales and marketing.
Thomas noted that “considering that most losses arising from the pandemic are not adequately covered by existing insurance policies, it has become obvious that current insurance product offerings are not adequate to respond to emergent risks and needs of our society”.
He therefore stressed the need for a review of conventional insurance products in order to upscale the value proposition of the Nigerian insurance industry, stressing that the industry cannot continue to ignore the impact of unforeseen events on individuals, businesses, and the insurance industry as a whole.