By Zainab Iwayemi
Insurance as a value plays a significant role in terms of driving growth in the insurance industry and it should also trump all in the decision to purchase an insurance product, an industry expert said during a virtual webinar by the Petroleum Upstream Sectoral Group of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers.
While making a presentation on the theme, ‘Insurance Requirement Amid COVID-19: Implications for Business’, Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon, an insurance industry management and strategy consultant, noted that people basically buy insurance for three reasons: by virtue of being constrained by law, because they have an idea of what it is and because of the value derived in buying an insurance product.
But he, however, stressed on the need to see insurance as something of value rather than for any other reasons.
According to him, ignorance more than culture is the major factor weighing down the acceleration of insurance growth in Nigeria. “The slow pace of insurance growth in this part of the world is not because of culture, it is because we are ignorant.
“Nigeria is an endowed nation of predominantly poor people because our resources and talents are not well protected and shared, so common risk easily wears and tears away at these resources and talent.” He added.
Highlighting the changes that has stricken the post-pandemic period, the insurance expert said dealing with risk before COVID-19 was majorly characterized by ignoring, self-managing and transferring them to formal and informal insurers as the focus was on what organisations and government did about risk while fewer people were impacted.
“Our unpreparedness and poor risk management approach exposed us to a worsening state of poverty and insecurities,” Gam-Ikon said.
He added that the advent of the COVID-19 has led to changes in a few things as it has taught all that we no longer have to ignore risks and do more of self-managing and transferring them to formal and informal insurers as the emphasis on taking personal responsibility have led many to listen and take more serious personal discussions with insurers, especially health insurance providers.
Imploring engineers to seek insurance cover for personal self first, he said, “Your business is, first of all, yourself! Know yourself completely, protect yourself and share the risk of any unfortunate and unexpected occurrence. When you are unwell, your business is incapable”.
He also advised that stakeholders get educated and enlightened continuously on the subject matter.
“A lot of information is ongoing. I implore you to tap into some of these opportunities. Ask questions, get answers and don’t get into insurance because your family member works for an insurance firm,” Gam-Ikon admonished.
Frontpage November 1, 2019