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Chuks Udo Okonta
Lack of adequate incentives has forced many agents out of the insurance industry, the Association of Registered Insurance Agents (ARIAN), has posited.
They expressed worries over the future of the insurance agency network, which according to them presently contributes 51 per cent of the total insurance industry annual gross premium.
The National President of ARIAN Kazeem Odewunmi, while speaking at the 2023 ARIAN Managers’ Conference, with the theme: ‘Navigating Regulatory Frameworks and Compliance Requirements to Ensure Sustainable Growth’ in Lagos, attributed the exit to lack of motivations due to unavailability of incentives such as support for young agents and structured retirement package for agents
He noted that on assumption of office as National President of the association, he had meetings with Chief Executive Officers of insurance companies on the need to institute robust retirement benefits scheme for agents, adding many of the pledged to entrench the scheme but has not done so till now.
He said the insurance agency network has now become a market where people from other sector recruit marketers.
According to him, many trained agents have been lost sectors such as real estate, banking, pension, while others travelled out of the country.
He called on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to look into the plights of agents, to enable the sub-sector to sustain its contributions to the insurance industry.
Odewunmi also appealed to managements of insurance companies to esteem agents, as they contribute greatly to their fortune.
Odewunmi also posited that there are over 100,000 insurance agents, despite the 6,700 that is reported by NAICOM and 15,000 by Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), adding that the industry needs more agents to effectively sell insurance.
Director-General Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, in a paper entitled: Navigating Regulatory Frameworks and Compliance Requirements Through Administrative Perspective, noted that stakeholders in the insurance value change should ensure full compliance with the rating guide as agreed upon by all practitioners to ensure all line of insurance business are underwritten profitably.
Mrs. Ilori who was presented by the Director of Operations NIA, Lanre Ojuola, charged agents to give priority to training and retraining, stressing that fresh agents should be encouraged with inceptive, while the older ones should be recognized for their contribution.
A member of panel of discussant and staffer of Custodian Life Assurance Limited Mrs. Funmi Saka, called on agent managers to ensure quality training is given to fresh agents and that the managers should exhibit the act of leadership by doing what they instruct their subjects to do.