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Chuks Udo Okonta
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Director, Anchor Insurance Company Limited, Ebose Augustine has said following the effects of coronavirus pandemic on business landscape and the economy, 50 per cent of insurance businesses are presently done through digital platforms.
Ebose, who stated this at the inauguration of the new executives of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents(NAIPCO) sponsored by the insurer, in Lagos, expressed optimism that more businesses will be generated by the insurance industry through digital platforms within the next three years.
Augustine, who was represented by the Executive Director, Technical, Ademola Ikuomola, added that, “Nigerian youths prefer to do insurance businesses through the social media platforms than in person. The youths don’t come out to buy insurance physically, they prefer buying through social media platform. The insurance industry is also leveraging on these platforms to drive sales. The impact of the pandemic has made us to regain our human capital, ICT and our processes.”
The pandemic, he stressed, has forced operators to reinvent their processes and customer experience as well as how to meet the expectations of the public.
On reasons for the fall in insurance contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 29 per cent, he said: “Before the pandemic, insurance awareness in Nigeria has been very low compared to other advanced economy and that is why the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) is sensitising the public, creates awareness to deepen insurance penetration. The pandemic affected every business, so, we expect that insurance will also be affected.”
He assured that stakeholders are putting measures in place to deepen insurance penetration, sensitise the public and create awareness, adding that, “part of that initiative is what our regulator is doing, to upscale the compulsory insurances so that the members of the public that are not buying insurance will buy at all levels, this will impact positively on the GDP.”
Speaking on surviving the post COVID-19 era, he noted that sound work ethics is imperative in staying relevant, saying, ” as a professional the CIIN has a mode of ethics for all professionals, so it is expected as a professional to show due diligence and professional skills in dispensing your service to the public.”
“The new normal makes it very imperative for the employees of different companies to work from home and still make the same threshold of services to customers. In the insurance industry, the new normal has made it mandatory by the government stipulated protocols that 60 per cent capacity must be at work at every given time, so the remaining 40per cent should be at home with their device. So, whether you are working at home or in the office, it is the same employees. The reason why they are at home is because we want to comply with the government’s Covid-19 stipulated protocols and social distancing.
“Customer’s expectations has been met, businesses are been generated, despite the pandemic. Before now, we used to have physical marketing but now, we don’t have that. Now, we have to do zoom meetings and use other digital means. That is the change we have no other option than to embrace,” he posited.