Some experts have decried the low level of insurance penetration in the country and called on industry stakeholders to tailor products to the different regions in order to boost its patronage.
They spoke at the symposium organised by the UNILAG Actuarial Science and Insurance class of ‘89 alumni in honour of Prof. Kunle Aduloju in Lagos with the theme, ‘Developing insurance and financial inclusion: Developing insurance products for informal sector’.
While delivering a lecture on the theme, Dr Biodun Adedipe of B.Adedipe Associates Consult Ltd, said there was a ready market for insurance players and that they only needed to develop the appropriate products for the identified risks.
He said “We were looking at a 40 per cent shift (by 2020) and we have done only three per cent in three years. That shows that the gap of insurance penetration in Nigeria is still very huge. When you look at the other side, the country with the highest insurance penetration in the world is Thailand at 15 per cent.
South Africa is the leader in Africa. When you look at these countries and place them beside Nigeria, obviously, we have a long way to go. One of the ways to bridge that gap quickly is to take insurance to two sets of people; the low income group at the bottom of the pyramid and what is universally addressed now as the emerging middle income group, who have never participated in insurance before.”
He added, “There is a lot of job to be done by the insurance companies in developing products that will match those market segments on one hand and that means you are looking at needs vis-a-vis geography.”
Head of Department, Actuarial Science and Insurance, Prof. Hamadu Dallah, lamented the inability of academics over the years to identify the factors responsible for low penetration of insurance in Nigeria.
Aduloju, also told insurance companies that they needed to improve on production development based on regions.
He said, “Insurance penetration is below one per cent. There are a lot of factors responsible for this, there is financial literacy, the level of literacy is low, the level of awareness is also low and then the simplicity of the insurance policy. We have to prepare it in such a way that they (potential customers) will understand that they need it.”
The Chairman of the occasion, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, an alumus of the university and director-general of the Nigerian Insurers Association, said the Nigerian insurance industry could enhance its growth frontiers by placing a premium on the enhancement of financial inclusion development of products that could meet the yearnings of consumers of insurance