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Insurance consumers flay insurers over poor treatment, demands improvement



Insurance consumers flay insurers over poor treatment, demands improvement

Insurance consumers has accused underwriting firms in the country of poor customers relationship, demanding improvement in their services, saying that they ought to be treated as ‘kings’.

Insurance policyholders, who spoke at the 2016 Insurance Consumers Forum organised by Almond Production Limited in Lagos, at the weekend, noted that most companies do not remind policyholders when their policies expired, while most of them, don’t send complimentary messages on their birthday, wedding day, among others.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the forum, the consumers  called on insurers to continuously create awareness on what insurance is and how the insuring public could benefit from it is protection. In this regard, they want the industry to put in place more efforts to promote insurance literacy in the country.

The insurance practitioners, the consumers said should put in more efforts to leverage on modern technology in the distribution of insurance products, calling for collaboration between the Nigerian insurance industry and the relevant government agencies in promoting compulsory insurances in the country.

“The industry should put in place a more efficient complaint bureau system to settle disputes arising in insurance contracts in the country. The insurance companies in the market should strive to set up efficient research departments that would allow them to identify the insuring needs of the Nigerian publics,” insurance policyholders stressed.

While calling for the training and re-training of the insurance markets so that they should be more abreast with the contents of the products they are marketing to the insuring public, they urged insurance practitioners to look for the opportunities coming from the present economic recession, more so that recession is risk and insurance is all about risk management.

There is need for the industry to adopt modern technology so as to efficiently remind policyholders of policies that were due for renewals, they pointed

Earlier, Consultant, Corporate Skills Bridge Limited, Mr. Alex Anameje, said misconception about insurance products and services still persists, urging industry players, regulators and other stakeholders, to increase insurance awareness to deepen insurance penetration and acceptance in the country.

“The supervisory authorities, the professional body, the trade association and the individual operators should go extra mile to ensure that the message permeates. It can be seen that apart from the activities that statutorily require insurance cover, so many other areas are hardly given consideration,” he stressed.

Charging insurers to ensure that the interest of the consumer is always protected, he believes there is the need for absolute transparency and for keeping to the letters and spirit of the agreement.

All cards need to be laid on the table and all tiny prints should be brought up and explained to the insured as this will guarantee trust and promote the insurance acceptance, he opined.

Insurers, according to him, should always be on the look out to identify insurable interests of potential consumers and approach them to enlighten them on the need to insure such interests. The onus, he said, is on the insurer to highlight the obvious benefits of taking insurance cover and the odds of doing otherwise.

“Insurers should convince the potential consumer that the marginal utility to gain in purchasing a given policy exceeds the marginal utility of holding the income that would be given up at purchase or that of the alternative good to be foregone,” he pointed out.

The Managing Director, Almond Production Limited, Faith Ugwuode, urged insurance companies to be aggressive in the marketing of insurance products and services so that more Nigerians can be aware and purchase insurance cover.

The former Group Managing Director, LASACO Assurance Plc, Olusola Ladip-Ajayi, said insurance operations are now technologically driven, promising that this is enhancing quality services to policyholders.

After listening to the complaints of insurance policyholders at the event, he promised them that insurers would improve, henceforth, especially, in the area of service delivery.

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