The chairman, of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu has said that retail insurance is where the future is in Nigeria. He said this at the Colloquium marking the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) in Lagos, on Thursday, September 29.
Elumelu urged stakeholders to introduce simple and smart insurance to Nigerians, especially now that there is a widening poverty gap in the country.
He says; “It is high time the brokers community began to shift focus to retail because this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.
“Ladies and gentlemen, innovation and disruptive practices cannot occur if we do not broaden our thinking
“Trying to make profits from existing lines is not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at the blue ocean opportunities.”
Elumelu emphasized the importance of insurance in Nigeria. He said collaboration with non-industry practitioners will help achieve set goals.
According to him, through insurance, families, businesses, and assets are protected against hazards and losses. So, the economy is as advanced as its insurance sector.
In order to achieve widespread retail insurance in Nigeria, Elumelu said there must be adequate awareness, which showcases the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, especially in the retail space.
He asked stakeholders to bridge the insurance knowledge gap if they are to make insurance attractive to Nigerians.
What NCRIB needs to focus on
While commending the NCRIB for its massive contributions to the growth of corporate insurance in the country, Elumelu said the body needs to do more work in the following areas;
NCRIB needs to advocate for pro-insurance laws, corporate governance, excellent service, and innovation, for the benefit of Nigerians, especially future generations.
NCRIB should work on the recapitalization of the brokerage industry in Nigeria. Elumelu recommends a minimum of N50 million as a capital base.
NCRIB should lead the war against unethical practices in the industry, like premium rate cutting, delayed premium remittance, unremitted premium, overloading of premium, returned premium, fake documents, fraudulent claims, collusion to defraud, mis-spelling, unhealthy competition, misrepresentations, manipulation of policy conditions, self-enrichment methods disguised as marketing expenses, etc.
NCRIB needs to work towards positioning its members properly for digital integration, mediating between the insuring public and the underwriters digitally.
In conclusion, Elumelu talked about the urgency to develop the next generation of talent to serve the Nigerian insurance industry. He advised the broker community to rally and become the hub for the education and training of youths to get qualified talent for the next phase of the industry.
“In those days when I was in university, what drove me to want to join banking? It was the profile of bankers, sharp suits, nice cars.
“It’s funny now that I think about it, but little things on how the people that worked in banking looked made me aspire to the banking profession.
“We need to raise the profile of our insurance professionals, make it attractive for the younger generation,” he says.
What you should know
Insurance remains a viable tool for financial inclusion in every country and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
Tony Elumelu also operates Heirs Life Assurance, Heirs Insurance Brokers, and Heirs Insurance Limited,
NCRIB has the ability to partner with others to support the financial inclusion drive in Nigeria.