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Chuks Udo Okonta
Coronation Insurance Plc has once again provided nuggets on how businesses can leverage insurance to survive and prosper, especially in challenging economic environments.
The nuggets were provided in a webinar which examined the critical role of insurance in helping businesses to remain afloat amid headwinds.
Chief Executive Officer of Coronation Insurance Plc,
Olamide Olajolo, speaking on the theme of the webinar which was ‘Insurance Key Partner for Business Success in Challenging Environment’, said insurance provides safety nets for survival amidst mishaps.
Erudite professionals like, Henry Mascot, Co-founder and CEO at Curacel; Tochi Ginigeme, Founder of Mesh Venture; Anthony Olasele, Head of Corporate Sales at Coronation Insurance Plc; and Vincent Ezeora, Head of Sales and Marketing at Emirates HealthConnect24x7 Limited, all shared cutting-edge thoughts at the event.
The webinar was expertly hosted by Wole Famurewa, CNBC Africa Anchor, with remarks from Adewale Adeneye, Executive Director, Coronation Insurance Plc.
Kicking off with a survey of challenges currently facing businesses in Nigeria, participants highlighted the relevance of insurance in helping enterprises manage inflation, foreign exchange constraints and talent flight while protecting assets, processes and outcomes essential to keeping businesses going in the face of volatility and disruption.
In short, far from being a luxury to dispense with in tough times, insurance was, in fact, a key driver of survival and success in challenging markets.
The encouraged business owners not to give up, but protect their business against risks with insurance.
They noted that up until the COVID pandemic, global growth was steaming ahead, recording the emergence of more people from poverty and the highest levels of longevity than ever before in human history. While the pandemic, subsequent geopolitical conflict and even wars threatened these gains, the panel believed that supply chain disruption and the global tilt to on, near, and friend-shoring currently driving up the cost of doing business globally could be overcome.
In this more complex environment, the ability to manage risk and survive through volatility was key to both growing revenue and cutting costs – the two most basic business imperatives.
Running a business in today’s environment was likened to pushing a massive ball up a hill.
In this analogy, insurance was the critical element that helped businesses prevent the ball from rolling backward. Covering simple things like fire, flood, illness, accident, and tools and technology, or taking out more complex covers for business interruption cover, can prove critical to the survival of a small business, especially when a business is unable to perform and can’t generate profits because of volatility or other risks beyond its control.
Technology, they posited had become critical in making insurance both more accessible and affordable to SMEs as well as ordinary people in Nigeria. By deepening insurance penetration in
the county, technology has become a critical driver of broader financial inclusion, extending the longevity and resilience of smaller businesses, they asserted.
Technology and especially artificial intelligence, they noted are also transforming the evolution of insurance in Nigeria away from one-size-fits-all off-the-shelf insurance products to individually tailored policies informed by the particular needs, goals and risks of individual businesses. In an increasingly digitally interconnected world where many Nigerian knowledge or service businesses operate across the planet, cybersecurity, proprietary intelligence, and directors’ liability covers are increasingly relevant to small businesses – right from start-up.
Greater insurance penetration also builds resilience among communities and the broader economy, the experts submitted.
According to them, societies with higher levels of insurance are better positioned to manage risks, shocks, and disasters, like climate change, pandemics, or global economic crises. In addition to providing the capital to keep businesses going when crises hit, insurance also promotes the exchange of information, building the data and knowledge banks required to anticipate, manage, and spread risks.
While in the past paying annual insurance fees was beyond the reach of small businesses, today technology also makes it possible for even the smallest business to tailor covers with monthly or quarterly terms that suit limited cash flow and earnings profiles, they said.
As such, all players in Nigeria’s insurance sector focus heavily on education.
To increase the penetration of insurance and create a more resilient economy, the industry is using technology to explain the benefits of insurance to even the smallest businesses. Nigeria’s insurance sector is also working hard to demonstrate that insurance works. Coronation Insurance, for example, invests heavily in a public education campaign relying on technology to get the message to ordinary Nigerians. This includes a public webinar series of which the recent discussion of business insurance was part.
Trust was identified as a key element driving perceptions and the use of insurance.
The Nigerian insurance industry as at the third quarter of year 2023 has N259 billion individuals and businesses across the country. Increasing the number of businesses covered by the country’s insurance net would dramatically increase the resilience and performance of the local economy and further entrench trust in the sector, they submitted.