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Chuks Udo Okonta
CHI Microinsurance Limited has officially commenced operation with plans to insure about 100 million uninsured grassroots dwellers in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the microinsurance firm in Anthony, Lagos, today, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance(CHI) Plc, Eddie Efekoha, disclosed that, the firm will leverage the opportunities in the grassroots to make headway.
As a pioneer national microinsurance outfit, he promised that, the new firm will partner artisans, Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs), Microfinance Banks(MFBs), cooperative societies, trade associations, among other players, to appropriately insure risks in the micro segment of the nation’s economy.
“There are about 100 million people in the micro segment of the nation’s economy. This presents opportunities for us as a firm targeted towards insuring that segment of the society. We have assembled the right people for the job and we can promise you that CHI Microinsurance will pay your claims as and when due, and will offer customers the best of insurance services,” he pointed out.
Similarly, the Managing Director/CEO of the new firm, Pius Kariaren, said, currently, the firm has cemented relationship with some groups that deals directly with the grassroots, a development that will give his company, an edge in the retail segment of the market.
To him, “we want to be the fore-runner by ensuring that the masses have insurance. Artisans, micro businesses, are our target. To this end, we are starting with five products namely; CHI Esusu Plan, CHI Credit Plan, CHI Cooperative Society Plan, CHI Welfare Plan and CHI Group Life Plan. Players in this segment should approach us for the best policy to underwrite their respective risks.”
While promising the company will not renege in its promise to fulfill its obligations, he noted that, the firm has assembled dedicated hands to ensure that, products are created from time to time to suit the needs and yearnings of the grassroots Nigerians.
Earlier, the Director-General, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, has advised the firm to be a good role model for other microinsurers that may be coming behind, urging them to be a pathfinder and always pay genuine claims.
Similarly, the commissioner for insurance, Sunday Thomas, said the regulatory body created a Microinsurance segment of the insurance market in a bid to cover the gap left by the conventional insurance companies as most of them are interested in the formal and corporate market, thereby, leaving the informal and the micro segment uninsured.
Thomas, who was represented at the event by the Director, Authorisation and Policy, Leo Akah, charged more Investors to come into the Microinsurance business to ensure that people in the grassroots are equally insured.
He urged the company not to turn down any genuine claims, promising that, NAICOM will give the firm the necessary support to survive and excel.
Meanwhile, the executive secretary/CEO, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers(NCRIB), Tope Adaramola, said the contribution of insurance market to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is an eyesore noting that, insurance is a mechanism of financial inclusion to ensure that those who were financially excluded were brought into the financial system through insurance.
Most of the financially excluded, he pointed out, exists majorly in the grassroots, a market CHI Microinsurance is to serve, urging the company to turn this opportunity into business growth.