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Banjo Emphasizes Role of Religious Leaders in Insurance Penetration

By Dipo Olowookere

The Senior Manager, Brand, Media and Communications at African Alliance Insurance, Mr Bankole Banjo, has joined other insurance experts to advocate the development of products that will deepen insurance penetration in the country.

According to him, insurance should not be tailored for the elites but also for the masses because “insurance is something that is literally part of life.”

To achieve this, insurers must look for strategies to involve the traditional and religious leaders to break the cultural biases that had discouraged Nigerians from buying insurance policies.

“We have to tackle the issue of cultural bias, make sure religious leaders buy into the idea of insurance and build trust so that people can understand the benefits of insurance,” Mr Banjo said when he spoke at a webinar hosted by BizWatch Nigeria on Wednesday, March 30, 2021.

At the event, other speakers urged insurance brokers and other stakeholders in the industry to adopt transparency and clear communication between insurance firms and customers for easy claim settlement.

They also called for a roadmap that would serve as a guide for operators and ensure the growth of the industry.

In his speech, the CEO of Finterate Projects, Mr Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon, while addressing the theme Building Financial Resilience With Insurance Solutions Amid COVID-19, advised insurance companies to ensure there is a constant line of communication with customers, especially when there is a claim to be paid.

He stated that one of the lessons learnt at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was the way data was managed and how it was utilised by stakeholders.

“Customers expect you to communicate with them (on claims) but what we have now is that they are asking questions and no one is responding.

“It is tougher for us when people have to go through the whole process of insurance. I hope that as we encourage them to buy insurance, we encourage them to understand how it works,” Mr Gam-Ikon said.

On his part, the CEO of FBN Insurance Brokers, Mr Olumide Ibidapo, said the industry was ripe for a roadmap that would guide the operators on what they need to achieve.

He said insurance products suitable for Small and Medium Enterprises should be simple and provide coverage for financial loss, workers and physical assets.

“The type of insurance coverage for SME should be wide enough to cover their financial loss, workers and physical assets. In the event of a claim, it should be simplified and settled on time,” Ibidapo stated further at the event anchored by an insurance journalist, Ms Helen Ajeamo.

Speaking on the lessons from the COVID-19 and the #EndSARS saga for small business owners, the Associate Director, General Business Commercial, Leadway Assurance, Oluwatunminiu Ayodabo, stated that, “An unforeseen event like the #ENDSAR aftermath can adversely impact businesses if the company does not have an insurance policy to help protect against such an event or lack of adequate capital to restore any loss.

“However, business liability insurance can help to minimize risks so that the business continues to operate and grow. Largely, in an event where business hits severe misfortunes, it may not be able to solely afford the cost of getting back on track and running again.

“However, in the case of an insured business, the risk is shared between the company and the insurance company.”

​Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Managing Editor of BizWatch Nigeria, Mr David Oputah, explained that the webinar was conceived to enlighten Nigerians on insurance matters.

He described the insurance industry as vital with huge potential but underutilised in Nigeria, highlighting the importance of being insured against uncertainties, especially in Nigeria, where insurance is perceived as a taboo due to a lack of understanding of the subject.

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