Finance Minister gives tips on how to improve culture of insurance in Nigeria

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Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has challenged insurance companies in the country to explore the option of quality services as a strategy for bridging the gap in the entrenching insurance as a culture among Nigerians.

It is against this backdrop that the minister charged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to put strategies in place to ensure that insurance companies pay all genuine claims promptly to the policyholders.

The Minister who spoke at the commissioning of NAICOM portal in Abuja  stated that insurance companies must appreciate the fact that they are business, primarily to pay claims to the policyholders whenever the need arises.

While pointing out that “unsatisfactory response to settlement of claims by underwriters had greatly contributed to the prevailing poor public perception and lack of trust and confidence in the insurance Industry” she added that prompt claims payment is the best advertisement for the industry.

Mrs. Ahmed congratulated the Commission on the Portal designed to serve as a platform for interconnecting all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data, automate its business processes and provide access to statistical data of the sector.

The commissioning of the Portal, she added, should serve as a springboard for industry wide adoption of technology and innovation for efficient and effective service delivery, ease of transacting business and customer experience and satisfaction.

She also urged the Commission to ensure that the Portal is connected to other government databases like the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) NIN Database, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Database, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information system, FRSC’s National Vehicle Identification System, the National Vehicle Registry, State Licensing Databases among others, in order to provide value added services to all Insurance Industry stakeholders and enhance revenue generation.

In addition, the NAICOM Portal must also serve as the central database and sole repository of all Insurance Data connected to government databases in the country, she further noted.

The level of Insurance Penetration, a measure of the contribution of Insurance to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.88 for 2021, she said is very low,adding that this shows that there are abounding opportunities for growth in the market.

The minister therefore advised the insurance industry to develop new innovative products based on data and customer preferences, as well as introduce new channels of distribution beyond the traditional channels to reach new segments of the market.

She equally called for cooperation with other agencies of government to enforce compulsory insurances in the country.

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