Communication expert, Dr Phil Osagie has called for a concerted effort of stakeholders in the insurance sector to deal with the industry’s inadequate public enlightenment.
Osagie observed that more energy should be exerted in dealing with the seeming snail pace penetration so that the industry would harness its huge potentials.
Osagie while speaking at the 2nd Business Journal Insurance Summit in Lagos, also urged government to intervene in the sector by ensuring full enforcement of compulsory insurances.
According to him, government should ensure compliance as well as introduce sanctions to be meted out to defaulters.
He noted that insurance had remained the least in the priority of preference of every Nigerian, even as he called on the operators to think of new and better ways to do the business.
Regretting that only one out of every ten Nigerians has insurance, thus meaning that penetration is still abysmally less than one per cent urged practitioners to embark on awareness campaign and education of the people as a way out.
Osagie, lamented that only four million vehicles out of 17 million that ply Nigerian roads have insurance while 13 million were left in the hands of fraudsters..
He pointed out that insurance business in the country in the past was known for non settlement of claims, thus urging operators to report any claim paid.
He highlighted consumer apathy, cultural/religious beliefs system, low education/awareness among others as major factors responsible for insurance low patronage.
Osagie challenged operators that the kind education to be offered to the people should be consistent and capable of changing behaviour. “I need to be told what will compel me to buy insurance”, he said.
At the same event, the Director General, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) Thomas Sunday stated that in spite of low insurance penetration, the sectors volume of business has increased over time.
“When we talk of issue of penetration remaining at a point, for some of people, I think people just bound figures around.
But we know that Penetration has gone as low as .27 per cent of course there are reasons for that, now If you look at our total production and compare it with what it was some two or three years ago, you will know why. So in absolute,yes it is increasing in volume.
He noted that some of the problems the industry experienced in the past were caused by the insurance agents.
Consequently, he called on the agents to ensure individual training and retraining to ensure job efficiency.