#EndSARS riot: NAICOM implores insurers to lead in business recovery

From left: Deputy President, CIIN, Mr Edwin Igbiti; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment Ogun State, Kikelomo Longe, Alake of Egbaland, HRH Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III;  President, CIIN, Sir Muftau Oyegunle; Secretary to the State Government Ogun State, Mr Joseph Talabi, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas and Amb. Toye Okanlawon at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Insurance Professionals’ Forum held in Abeokuta.


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Chuks Udo Okonta

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has implored insurance operators to lead in the quick recovery and restoration of businesses affected by the recent #EndSARS riot.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, said this today at the ongoing Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) 2020 Insurance Professionals’ Forum, at Abeokuta, Ogun State, whilst urging the operators to showcase their role in reinforcing the economic resilience of individuals, businesses and the economy at large.

“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,” he said.

Thomas noted that the suddenness of the COVID-19 pandemic imposed immense pressure on all businesses including insurance business, stressing 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.

He maintained that 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 said 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 added.

He said there is, therefore, 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.

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