Insurance

Old Mutual drums need for SMEs to protect assets with insurance

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Owing to losses incurred due to the #EndSARS Protests that were hijacked by hoodlums, thereby, leading to destruction of lives and properties worth a trillion naira, there is the need for the Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) to seek insurance protection against their business assets.

This was disclosed by managers of Old Mutual Nigeria Insurance, during a virtual seminar to raise awareness on insurance products for SMEs recently.

The Head, bancassurance and distribution, Old Mutual Nigeria, Dumebi Okonkwo, said, it was pathetic that during the last protest, many SMEs suffered heavy losses arising from vandalism and destruction of their business assets but that only few of them have these assets and properties insured.

She added that most SMEs would struggle to come out of this quagmire as they may have to start from the scratch again, saying, those who were fortunate to insure, will have no challenge, as their insurers will take up this financial responsibility and return them back to the financial position they were before the incident occurred.

“Since SMEs are the drivers of the economy, they should benefit from insurance claims, but unfortunately, many of them did not insure, believing that disaster such as this will not happen. But the wise ones who insured will automatically get their claims,” she said.

For SMEs, she said, risk assessment is very critical to mitigate financial loss such as this, saying, insurance companies, such as Old Mutual have different insurance products to insure SMEs in the country.

To sustain and securitise one’s business, she said, the owner must insure his equipment, motor vehicles, stock and human capital, saying, Fire insurance, burglary insurance, motor insurance, group life insurance, among other products, are insurance solutions to protect entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Speaking on liabilities that business owners are exposed to, the head, corporate sales, Makanjuola Tubi, said, there are policies that cover liabilities that are likely to occur in the course of business, noting that, liabilities can arise from product sold, use of public space or even advice given by the virtue of one’s profession. He listed some of the products to include; product liability, public liability, professional indemnity, Employee accident benefit insurance, among others.

Stating the benefits of these insurance coverage, he stated that, the capital is untouched, working capital is unmarred while business continuity is guaranteed.

He stated that Old Mutual Nigeria has SME Group Life policy whose annual premium is N15,000 which covers between three to five employees and has death benefits of N658,000 and N541,000, depending on the package one subscribed to.

Dumebi, while speaking on Shop Protect policy, said, this coverage allows shop owners to protect their investments against risks, such as, burglary, theft, personal accident, saying, the premium is N10,000 and allows the shop owners the opportunity to choose a cover that best suit him or her, noting that, the claims on this policy is N2 million and above.

She listed other products in the kitty of the company to include: OM Retail and SMEs product Suite which has its Life and General insurance components; SME Group Life Assurance; Hersurance, among others.

The chief risks officer, Kunle Odetola-Odeleye, however, pointed out that, Old Mutual strive to satisfy all its customers, improves its operations to serve customers better while it paid claims within 48 hours after all documentation is done.

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