13 November 2012

Nigeria: Sovereign Insurance Boss Advises Operators to Make Customers King

Even though Nigeria's insurance space is fast transforming from an unexciting industry, full of sharp practices to a more transparent industry, a lot more still needs to be done for the customer, Chief Executive Officer of the Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Wale Onaolapo has said.

He called for the value shift in insurance to be customer based while delivering a paper titled "Making the Customer a Winner" at the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CII) 2012 Education Seminar.

He said over the years, the general perception of service delivery in the insurance industry as demonstrated by the actors; agents, brokers and insurance companies have not been anything to be proud of. The industry was known to be quick to collect premiums and yet dragged its feet if not avoid the payment of claims when the need arises, he said.

"But such experience have now become history as the industry has now come to terms with its purpose and is ready to play its pivotal role in the economic development of the country. So many steps have been taken by the regulatory authorities since the 60s to weed out bad elements in the industry with the government coming up at various times with new laws and regulations to guide the conduct of insurance business in Nigeria," he noted.

Mr. Onaolapo said the customers who are the very reason for being in business can truly be the winner if practitioners and operators in the insurance industry can put their house in order.

He suggested, offering quality service delivery at all times; possession of product knowledge and understanding of customer needs by client-facing personnel; fast and efficient product offerings especially handling claims to the satisfaction of customers, as the way forward in fixing the industry.

According to him, "if you fail to deliver or over-promise and under deliver, your customer will give you lousy feedback and any future possible buyer will think twice before buying from you," adding that the customers' satisfaction level will determine how well you do in your business.

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