Mr. Ibu’s indisposition: What insurance could have done


Tope Adaramola

In life, individuals and corporate entities set out to achieve desired goals, for which they commit all they have-money, time, physical assets, God given talents- to accomplish. Ironically, there are often times when such goals are not met due to unforeseen circumstances.

The trending case of the grave indisposition of humour marchant, Mr Ibu, in the media space underscores the uncertainty that may occur in achieving life’s goals when the unexpected happens. News had it that the ace Nollywood actor, whose mere visage evokes rib-cracking laughter was battling with an ailment that could claim his limb if care is not taken or required financial succour comes his way, timeously.

Interestingly, there had been bitter tirades in the social media space between some actors who take the Actors Guild of Nigeria to the cleaners for not taking enough care of its members in distress, latching on the case of Mr Ibu, to which the Association has roundly debunked.

Happily, there is an emerging news that succour may have come the way of the ailing actor from a philanthropic organisation founded by a former Senate President who had reportedly underwritten the medical bill, paving way for his recovery.

While it remains the prayers of all Nigerians and particularly the numerous fans that Mr Ibu gets back to the groove, incidents like this would not cease to twitch the nerves of insurance and risk managers like this writer on the need for actors or entertainers to start looking more towards insurance for the protection of their lives and properties against the unexpected. As our world advances, the noxious beliefs that one could always get social support or draw from social capital in the event of unfortunate events is fast giving way. Reason for this could not be farfetched with the increasingly parlous economy, coupled with the growing disposition of people towards individualism at the expense of being their good old brothers keepers.
It is no longer news that celebrities have fallen into the web of misfortunes without any tangible help coming their way. Naturally, celebrities often lead showy public lives, putting them in the spotlight with consequential risks to their lives through accidents, assaults and health issues. Most actors are breadwinners of their families and have multiple streams of income that are dependent on their ability to work. In the event of not being able to work due to unforeseen circumstances they don’t only lose income, they also lose potential earnings. Furthermore, celebrities often engage in high risk activities as part of their profession such as performing stunts or getting involved in hazardous past times that increase their chances of being injured or killed.

With global modernization in trades and professions, actors are now more fluid as they engage in not only local but international shows that could make them and their works vulnerable to contractual breaches, law suits, copyright, defamation or royalty issues. All these exposures are coverages within the prism of insurance which could return the the client to the place he was before the loss or provide the required peace of mind.

Specifically, there are some insurance policies that actors may avail themselves of to cover earlier stated liabilities without having to resort to the public for assistance when the unfortunate occurs. Among them are: personal accident insurance with life covers which would offer financial protection in the event of accidents. They could also buy into income protection covers to take care of them due to unforeseen cessation of work or diminution of income, due to indisposition. It is also not out of place for these actors to buy into annuities to cater for their old age when public attention has shifted away from them.

At the level of the collective, i.e the Actors Guild of Nigeria and similar bodies, the time is ripe for the associations to accentuate their support for their members welfare through sustainable projects like insurance. It is not off mark to incept group life insurance for which they pay just a token premium yearly for protection against physical incapacitation, hospitalization or succour their dependants in death as the case may be.

It must be emphasized that it’s high time the insurance industry breaks off from its cocoon of conservativeness and reach out more aggressively to the entertainment ecosystem to grow the industry and provide social protection. Among other things, the reorientation of prompt and efficient claims payment which used to be the keep off of many from insurance needs to be proven to critical sector of the public. All over the world insurance provides social protection, making it a win-win both to the public and the insured. Nigerian insurance sector must not be an exception.

In the popular street lingo, though it takes two to tango, yet the first stage has to be taken by a party, in this case I recommend the insurance industry. When this is done, there would be a strong synergy between the two sectors that would change the narratives of the likes of Mr Ibu in this circumstance. Needless to say that the insurance industry would gain more mileage in its growth aspirations if it commits to partnership with the entertainment industry which records show contribute not less than $70million yearly to the nation’s economy.

Tope Adaramola, mnipr, fcib is
Executive Secretary of The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers

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