FBN General Insurance says it has commenced awareness programmes in the north eastern part of the country to sensitise residents to take insurance cover to mitigate future unexpected losses.
Mr Bode Opadokun, Managing Director of the company made the disclosure while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Opadokun said the campaign, which included a door-to-door campaign, was to sell the essence of insurance and ensure its penetration in the area.
“We will not be deterred by fears of insurgency, cultural beliefs and other factors that might have stunted insurance growth in the region.
“We intend to re-orientate the indigenes on insurance products not only in that region but also in some interiors in the west because some believe that the Almighty insures.
“Some citizens also associate insurance with fraud, believing that the first issue is survival before they consider insurance. This attitude must change,’’ he said.
The insurance chief said the company, through the awareness campaign, would tackle such perceptions in the region.
He pleaded with Nigerians to change their negative perception of insurance and support the growth of the industry.
According to him, the essence of insurance is to help people recoup and survive unexpected losses.
He called on other insurance firms to pay claims promptly to hasten insurance penetration, so as to entice more people to take insurance cover.
Opadokun said the campaign to make people accept insurance would not go far if claims were not paid as at when due.
According to Opadokun, there is no appropriate time to take insurance policies than in a period of economic recession because there is limited cash in circulation.
He urged individuals who had comprehensive insurance not to abandon it for third party insurance in spite of the country’s economic challenges.
Speaking on the company’s performance in 2016, Opadokun said a total of N270 million was paid as insurance claims in 2016 as against the N205 million it paid in 2015.
According to him, the company’s gross premium grew to N2.2 billion in 2016 from N1.8 billion in 2015, indicating an increase of 17.4 per cent.
The Insurance chief said the company’s total assets also rose to N6.1 billion, an increase of 11.9 per cent from the N5.3 billion it had in 2015.
“That we paid more claims in the year under review than previous years shows that our customers trust us more and are willing to allow us to bear more of the risks they would normally bear themselves.
“This lends credence to the fact that a responsible insurer must learn to settle claims promptly to show policyholders that it is committed,” the FBN chief said.