Before the nation's insurance industry could be viable like others sectors of the economy in the country, there is need for stakeholders to embrace retail insurance business that has been neglected.This was the submission of the experts who spoke at the Office Representatives Committee (ORC) 2018 workshop, organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in Lagos.
The President of the institute, Eddie Efekoha, called on all stakeholders across the industry to embrace retail insurance business in order to deepen awareness in the country. Efekoha explained that operators have over the years, abandoned retail market thinking that there is no much income from that sector, forgetting that people within the bracket contribute more to the economy.
He called on insurers to rethink their decision and focus on retail in to boost GDP and contribution to the economy.He urged participants at the event to be apostles of retail business and should ensure that whatever they acquired from the workshop is shared with others.
Speaking to The Guardian on the development in the industry, the Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Tope Smart, said retail business remains the future of the industry. "What we do is to chase the billions, leaving the people at the grassroots," he said.He explained that the various targets set to deepen insurance penetration, will not be achieved until operators give the needed attention to retail business.
"Many people do not know about insurance and we are talking of deepening insurance penetration. We cannot achieve this if the market women and others at the grassroots are neglected. If we want to take insurance from where it is to the next level we need to address the issue of retail."
Also, the Director-General, NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, in a paper entitled, 'Retail Insurance Distribution Perspectives: Challenges and Opportunities', urged operators to evolve broad range of relevant products that should be channelled through digital and non-digital channels.
She canvassed the need to focus on SMEs, women, youths, agricultural producers, households and individuals, especially those in the informal sector.She called for reform of the distribution channels, stressing that the present channels limit effective utilisation of alternative distribution channels.She said that efforts should be made to take insurance business to over 96.4 million total adult population in Nigeria.