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Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has implored Directors in insurance sector to work assiduously with their managements to promote prompt settlement of claims.
The Commissioner for Insurance/Chief Executive Officer of NAICOM, Sunday Thomas, said this today at the 2021 Insurance Directors’ Conference, organised by the College of Insurance and Financial Management (CIFM) in partnership with NAICOM in Lagos, adding that one issue that has been setting the industry on a reverse gear in its developmental efforts is the issue of claims settlement.
“One issue that has been setting the industry on a reverse gear in its developmental efforts is the issue of claims settlement. A few amongst us have been making this work a tedious one by not paying claims promptly. We should know as a fact that insurance business is about payment of genuine claims and anything short of that will continue to hurt insurance business in the country thereby giving the industry poor reputation, perception and image. I urge you to look at this issue at your level and deal with it decisively as it has continued to give the industry a bad name,” he said.
On the issue of development of insurance in the country, he urged the Directors to work closely with their management as a lot is expected from them at the top level, stressing that the Commission is working assiduously to open up the market particularly the retail end, conducting engagements with various agencies and state governments on the need to boost insurance culture across the country.
Thomas submitted that the supply side which is the insurance companies must also be proactive with follow-ups in these places, adding that if the industry is desirous of having significant impact on the nation’s GDP, it therefore must take retail business seriously.
“This has to start from the policy level and the directions clearly spelt out. This also must be supported with massive awareness campaign about insurance products across the geo-political zones taking into consideration peculiarity of each of the regions,” he said.
The NAICOM helmsman noted that insurance regulator and practitioners indeed manage an industry that helps others to survive, submitting that the insurance industry needs to survive first in order to conveniently shoulder the responsibility of helping other businesses to survive.
He posited that the future of insurance is arguably the future of the economy, adding that the directors are all leaders in their own rights and that the success or failure of the sector is in their hands as decision makers.
President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria Sir. Muftau Oyegunle, said continuous customer engagement cannot be overemphasized as this not only builds trust but puts the insurer in the face of the customer.
He noted that typically, insurance products and services are perceived as offerings that do not require constant meeting with clients except at major events such as customer acquisition, claims registration and policy termination, adding while it is vital to make these moments rancor free, it is equally important to provide more customer interaction channels to facilitate effective service delivery to clients.
According to him, a good starting point should be the provision of basic knowledge on insurance and its operations to consumers and awareness is a militating factor in the growth of Insurance.