Home » How Insurance Brokers Are Fighting to Change Nigeria’s Culture of Risk

How Insurance Brokers Are Fighting to Change Nigeria’s Culture of Risk

How a fire incident exposed the vulnerability of many Nigerians and spurred insurance brokers to action

by Motoni Olodun

Nigeria is a country with many risks, from natural disasters to civil unrest. Yet, many Nigerians do not have adequate insurance coverage to protect their assets and livelihoods. This is a challenge that insurance brokers are trying to overcome, by educating the public and advocating for better policies.

According to the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), the recent fire incident at the Mandilas Building in Lagos, which destroyed goods worth hundreds of millions of naira, was a wake-up call for Nigerians to embrace insurance. The NCRIB president, Babatunde Oguntade, said that most of the fire victims did not have insurance and would have to bear the losses themselves.

Oguntade lamented that the poor attitude of Nigerians to insurance was a major hindrance to the growth and development of the sector, which could contribute significantly to the nation’s economy. He said that insurance penetration in Nigeria was less than one percent, compared to other African countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, where it was over 10 percent.

He attributed the low insurance uptake to several factors, such as lack of awareness, distrust, religious beliefs, and inadequate enforcement of compulsory insurance laws. He said that the NCRIB was working with other stakeholders to address these challenges and create more value for insurance consumers.

One of the strategies that the NCRIB is employing is to collaborate with the media and other platforms to sensitize Nigerians on the benefits of insurance and how to access it. Oguntade said that the NCRIB had launched a radio program called “Insurance Matters” to educate the public on various insurance topics and answer their questions.

Another strategy is to engage with the government and regulators to improve the legal and regulatory framework for insurance in Nigeria. Oguntade said that the NCRIB was in support of the ongoing recapitalization exercise for insurance companies, which would enhance their capacity and credibility. He also called for the enforcement of existing laws that mandate some insurance products, such as motor third-party, fire, and group life insurance.

Oguntade said that the NCRIB was committed to promoting professionalism and ethics among insurance brokers, who act as intermediaries between insurance companies and customers. He said that the NCRIB had a code of conduct and a disciplinary committee to ensure that its members adhere to best practices and standards.

He urged Nigerians to patronize registered insurance brokers, who have the expertise and experience to advise them on the best insurance products and services for their needs. He said that insurance brokers also help customers make claims and get prompt settlements from insurance companies.

Oguntade expressed optimism that the insurance industry in Nigeria would overcome its challenges and achieve its potential if all stakeholders worked together to create a culture of risk management and protection. He said that insurance was not a luxury, but a necessity, especially in a volatile and uncertain world.

Source: Business Day


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