The patronage of the insurance sector by the general public has continued to drop due to the low level of awareness about the industry.
For too long, the general public has had a negative perception about insurance that “insurers don’t pay claims.” This wrong belief forced the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, to launch the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) in 2009, to kick-start the process of deepening insurance penetration in Nigeria.
The overriding objective of the MDRI is to change the public perception as well as introduce new insurance products and services that will appeal to the people. One company that keyed fully into the MDRI is Leadway Assurance Company Limited.
The company over the years has introduced products and services aimed at deepening insurance penetration in the country.
However, there is still widespread ignorance on the benefits of insurance, added to a dearth of products to meet varied needs, leading to cut-throat competition due to similarities of products being offered by firms. These challenges inhibit the growth of the sector given the untapped opportunities the Nigerian population offer.
The way forward
According to experts, for the insurance industry to thrive, operators must show vested interest in promoting the retail insurance market segment, place the interest of their customers in the centre of their business plans and strategies as well as review and tailor their products to suit the present day customers.
Experts believe that operators must go a step further to focus less on corporate business and concentrate more on retail business, as retail business is a veritable means of improving insurance market penetration.
Having keyed into the MDRI years ago and having seen the need to be unique and not recycle already existing products, Leadway Assurance in partnership with Total Nigeria Plc are promoting easy-to-use 3rd Party Motor Vehicle Insurance recharge cards to go on sale at some designated Total Service outlets nationwide to deepen insurance penetration.
These stations will not only be used as pick up centres for Leadway Assurance products, they will thereafter serve as collation centres for all insurance related issues such as processing of claims.
At the MoU signing ceremony in Lagos, Managing Director/CEO of Leadway, Oye Hassan-Odukale, who was represented by the Executive Director General Business, Adetola Adegbayi, said: “As an innovation-driven market leader in the Nigeria’s insurance industry, we are constantly seeking ways to make insurance products and services nearer, easily accessible and more convenient for our customers. We have developed our online infrastructure to provide real-time, online access and interaction for our clients.
“The partnership with Total reinforces that quest to further take insurance closer to Nigerians, whilst affirming our commitment to superior service delivery. Indeed, with this partnership, our customers, who are also consumers of Total’s array of products and services, would reduce their commuting time and cost to procure high value insurance products such as the motor insurance, at a single location.
“Leadway Assurance is leveraging on Total’s wide retail network to reach out to motorists in particular and many more customers in remote areas where Total service stations are located, thereby bringing insurance closer to customers no matter their location.”
Managing Director of Total Nigeria Plc, Jean-Philippe Torres, who was represented by the Territorial Sales Manager (North), Muftau Balogun said: “We are proud of the partnership with Leadway Assurance, a dynamic organisation, who shares our values of integrity, innovation, and superior service delivery.
This is an association of caring brands.
“With this partnership, our outlets will become the first in our industry to have insurance products and services offered at the convenience of our customers from our service stations.”