THE ROLE OF INSURANCE JOURNALISTS IN EMERGING REALITIES
BEING A PAPER DELIVERED BY MR. EBOSE AUGUSTINE, MD/CEO, ANCHOR INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, AT THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF NAIPCO NEW EXECUTIVES HELD AT SHERATON HOTEL, IKEJA LAGOS ON 26TH AUGUST, 2020
Stakeholders in the insurance industry
Gentlemen of the Press,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I must confess that it gives me great pleasure in having been invited by the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO) as the Guest Speaker at its inauguration ceremony today. The list of eminent speakers at the Association’s past inauguration ceremonies is indicative of the high quality of thoughts that have emanated from them. Honestly, I want to thank NAIPCO for considering me important and worthy to be added to that illustrious list.
I have been invited to speak on “The role of Insurance Journalists in emerging realities.” Going by the quality and range of professionals who have answered the call to be here, it is my hope that issues to be raised today shall inspire stimulating thoughts that will be useful in handling new realities relating to our industry.
From left: Head, Brand and Corporate Communications, Anchor Insurance Limited, Egboboh Nelson; Chairman, National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents, Chuks Udo Okonta; past Chairperson, Mrs. Omobola Tolu-Kusimo and Executive Director, Technical, Anchor Insurance, Adebisi Ikuomola at the event.
Permit me to state that the inaugural topic is apt as we cannot underestimate the role of the media in the emerging realities.
The onslaught of the COVID-19 Pandemic has continued to present new hazards which are unknown to humanity, thus adjusting our lives to adapt to the new normal. The media has contributed significantly to the processes of accountability driving inclusive growth. As part of its responsibilities as the fourth estate of the realm, it is expedient that Journalists should continue to reinvent themselves to align with evolving realities.
The impact of insurance journalism in deepening the awareness for insurance services is not negotiable. In the present day and age, media has been categorized as traditional and modern or new media which some refer to as the social media. Insurance companies are using social media to increase visibility, develop relationship and build trust. The social media is increasingly being embraced by the insurance industry especially the new generation professionals who has continued to join the insurance industry.
Newly elected members of NAIPCO
Social media uses shared interest of individuals to create common values. This said about how everyone is almost a Journalist with the freedom provided by the social media, it can never be compared to the quality of a reportage done by the professional journalist. Therefore, it cannot be taken to be an overstatement to say that that insurance sector has done well so far is attributable to the quality projection the insurance journalists have been giving it. We have been partners in the building, progress and success of the sector.
Consequently, amongst the role expected of the Insurance Journalists are to continue to sensitize and educate the public on the benefits of insurance services, deepening the risk landscape through their pivotal role in communication. With the new normal thrown at our faces by the Covid-19 pandemonium, it is the duty of the Journalists to constantly educate the public on the new ways of doing things and business. It is the social responsibility of the Journalists to ensure that as the light of the public, no one is left in the dark about new realities.
From left: Corporate Affairs Manager, NCRIB, Dele Ayeleso; Head, Brand and Corporate Communications, Anchor Insurance Limited, Egboboh Nelson; Chairman, National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents, Chuks Udo Okonta; past Chairperson, Mrs. Omobola Tolu-Kusimo; Executive Director, Technical, Anchor Insurance, Adebisi Ikuomola and Brand, Media and Communications Manager, African Alliance Insurance, Bankole Banjoat the event.
Ladies and gentlemen, the importance of insurance journalism has not been fully maximized in the new reality. I dare say that to further reinvent their reporting skill, they should as a matter of priority build network and affiliations with sister bodies and organizations across the globe to enable them continue to play valuable role to the society.
The new global realities have more than ever before imposed an onerous responsibility the journalists to continue to update their skills by developing new capacity, a paradigm shift in the way we see things, report issues objectively to achieve balanced perspective and stand point.
The Insurance Journalists must know the challenges the insurance practitioners are facing and therefore, learn to be on the part of ensuring growth for them rather than embark on any destructive journalism. Afterall, what will the Insurance Journalists gain if an insurance organisation sinks as a result of your reportage? The Insurance Journalists must know that they have something to publish today is because the companies exist. If they die as a result of your negative analysis, you are also running your beat, your column and job out of relevance in the media scheme of priorities.
The Insurance industry is undergoing recapitalization now. It is the duty of the Insurance Journalist to offer regular well researched analyses on how companies can go through the processes with ease, the advantages the process to the insurers, shareholders, the insured and the workers. It is not a time for the Insurance Journalists to begin to watch to know who will sail through or not.
The new reality poses new levels of risks globally, overwhelming health infrastructures and developing economies are more hard hit. Most advanced countries entered into the pandemic with historic loan and public debts on average higher than they have been over the years.
The impact of the pandemic on the insurance services could be felt in areas like high claims demand, credit risk exposures from businesses facing possible default, lack of sales from travel insurance, less use of face to face marketing channel, surge in demand for health and business interruption insurances. The Nigerian Insurers are a set of geniuses as we already have developed and perfected quick ways to pre-empting any challenges the pandemic throws at our businesses any time.
Let me congratulate the young and dynamic team of Insurance Correspondents who are being inaugurated today. I pray that they will consolidate on the gains they have recorded so far within the insurance landscape from Nigeria to the diaspora.
Let me assure you that Anchor Insurance Company Limited where I am the Chief Servant today shall always be there to provide moral support to NAIPCO.
I wish your tenure well.