Saturday, 29 September 2012

From left: Assistant Editor Properties and Environment The Nation Newspaper Mrs Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie and other journalists at a media forum on climate change in Lagos.

Insurance Correspondent, Daily Independent newspaper Sola Alabadan and other journalists at a media forum on climate change in Lagos.

Lead Strategist Medialogistix Limited Dotun Adekanmbi at a media forum on climate change in Lagos.

Picture. From left: Deputy Editor Sunday Independent newspaper Michael Simire; Chairman/Founder Heros of the Environment Foundation Tunde Akingbade and Lead Strategist Medialogistix Limited Dotun Adekanmbi at a media forum on climate change in Lagos.

Climate change: Experts canvass need for insurance

Climate change: Experts canvass need for insurance

Chuks Udo Okonta

The public have been urged to embrace insurance to adapt and mitigate risks associated with flood and other natural disasters.
Lead Strategist Medialogistix Limited Dotun Adekanmbi, at a media forum on climate change organised by the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) in Lagos, said insurance remains one of the best ways to adapt and mitigate risks.
He urged the public to adhere to rules on environmental safety, adding that the problems posed by climate change stemmed from failure by individuals to obey environmental laws.
He noted that considering the enormity of challenges of climate change, the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) thought it necessary for the media to deliberate ways to communicate to the public how to manage the menace.
He said the effects of climate change affect all sphere of human endearvour, hence the government and the public should stand for what is right. He called on the media to intensify effort in educating the public on how to keep the environment safe to avoid disasters.
Deputy Editor, Sunday Independent newspaper, Michael Simire, called on insurers to be proactive and ensure that they take their services to the grassroots to help people mitigate risks associated with climate change.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Members of NCRIB

Managing Director Quicklink Insurance Brokers Barrister Rotimi Edu

Chairman, Lagos Area Committee NCRIB Patrick Ikponwosa

President Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mrs Laide Osijo and the Chairman, Lagos Area Committee NCRIB Patrick Ikponwosa at his investiture in Lagos.

Chairman, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Patrick Ikponwosa and Corporate Affairs Manager NCRIB Tope Adaramola

Chairman, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Patrick Ikponwosa taking oath of office with other executives.

President Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mrs Laide Osijo decorating the Chairman, Lagos Area Committee NCRIB Patrick Ikponwosa at his investiture in Lagos

Cross session of brokers at theInvestiture of the Chairman, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) (2)

From left: The Managing Director Niger Insurance Plc, Justus Clinto Uranto and Deputy Managing Director Adedeji Dauda Kolapo at the Chairman of the Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) iinvestitures in Lagos.

Cross session of brokers at theInvestiture of the Chairman, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB)

From left Chairman, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Patrick Ikponwosa and former Chairman Tunde Oguntade

Less than 15 insurance firms visible – report

Less than 15 insurance firms visible – report
Chuks Udo Okonta
Less than 15 insurance companies operating in Nigeria are known by the public a study conducted by GIZ, a German agency for sustainable development and Riskguard-Africa Limited has revealed.
A report by the agencies said a survey conducted across selected states in the country, showed that the few insurers known are, Aiico Insurance Plc, Niger Insurance, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI), Leadway Assurance, NICON, LASACO, Oasis, Mutual Benefits, Royal Exchange and Crusader.
The report stated that other companies identified as underwriting firms include, Savana Insurance, Gateway insurance, Quality Insurance, Liberty Insurance, CBN Agric Insurance Limited and Access Insurance.
The report noted that individuals who were asked to share their knowledge on what insurance means, defined it thus: “If death happens, they will contribute money for dash”
“My children have been introducing Insurance Company to me”
“They take care of business people when they have problem if you insure yourself”
“At times they pay, at times they don’t pay, and at times they delay before paying”
“I have seen somebody who insured his property and when he had accident, they paid him”
Other said insurance means: “If something happens or you are into a business and you lose the business and no money to continue, they can look at your condition and restore you”
“In case of accident, and you have Insurance, the people will investigate and they will pay you”
 “The type i have I can explain it. I have one with First Bank for N10, 000.00 per month. They said if i contribute for 10 years and if I die say within three years my son will come and collect”
“I pay as a welder in case of Fire. I pay N1, 000.00 monthly.
“I have not had accident, I have just been paying”
“In case like motor accident, it takes some months or years before they pay the money”
 Some said it: “Insurance bears risk. It means security; it is a pool of risk where u can be indemnified. When you get a loss they can balance you”
“Insurance is good, it helps, it supports, Security
I heard from friends in transport business, he said it is good”
“When you don’t know about it, knowledge, you are ignorant of it. If the society is informed about it we will like it.”
Worried by this development, the Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel, said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has developed a draft guideline for the entrenchment and development of insurance at the grassroots.
Daniel said the draft guideline on micro-insurance is being exposed to the industry, experts and other stakeholders for their inputs and contributions, adding that thereafter, the final draft will be drawn and released to the market.
He noted that the commission intends to collaborate with other relevant regulatory agencies in achieving the plan.

NAICOM retains 8% group life commission

NAICOM retains 8% group life commission
Chuks Udo Okonta
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has pegged group life insurance commission at eight per cent Inspen has learnt.
In a circular issued by the commission to underwriters and brokers, it ordered them not to charge more than eight per cent commission on group life insurance, adding that violators would be sanctioned.
NAICOM made it clear to the operators that group life commission is not nine per cent as been canvassed by some practitioners.  
It was gathered that underwriters and brokers have been on a running battle over what should be charged as commission.
Investigation revealed that both parties early in the year agreed to raise the commission to nine per cent, but the underwriters later reneged on the agreement, as it was considered inimical to their operation.
The circular by NAICOM, it was gathered was issued to halt the running battle between brokers and underwriters.
From a reliable source, it was learnt that NAICOM made several attempts to settle the beef between the parties, but failed because the underwriters were not ready to keep to the agreement reached with the brokers early in the year.
Though brokers were uncomfortable with the new policy, issued by NAICOM, they agreed to abide by it to avoid been sanctioned.
The commission would be applied on this year’s Federal Government group life insurance, which premium is valued at about N7 billion and over 300 brokers appointed by the Federal Head of Service.

Micro-Insurance products development

  Micro-insurance is insurance that is access by low income population, provided by a variety of different entities and run in accordance with generally accepted insurance principles
 The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) defines Micro-insurance as follows:
  “Micro-insurance is the protection of low income people against specific perils in exchange for regular premium  payments appropriate to the likelihood and cost of the risk involved.”
Insurance for low income people
It involves low level of premium
Insurance with small benefits
Simple, easily understood contracts
Few exclusion, if any
Multi-task intermediaries
Often, community or group pricing
Simple claim process, but still controlling fraud
Targeted at wealthy or middle-class persons
Market is not totally ignorant of insurance
Sold by licensed intermediaries or directly by insurers
Small and large sum insured
Underwriting and screening requirements may include a medical examination, survey/inspection
Complex policy documents
Priced based on age/specific risk
Targeted at low income persons (poor people)
Market is totally ignorant of insurance
Through unlicensed intermediaries: agency, partnership model
Only small sum insured
Minimal or no screening requirements. Identity of insured is sufficient.
Simple, easy to understand policy documents
Community or group pricing
Pay the deceased’s beneficiary the amount held in the
savings plus benefits
Enable the poor to cover the cost of medicine, hospital
stay and treatment as well as protecting against the loss
of income due to sickness or injury
To protect against losses associated with cattle rearing,
piggery, poultry, fish farming etc
For protection against adverse weather conditions
This insurance covers cost of burial
This replaces assets lost due to theft, damages or
destruction. Property damage could result from fire, flood or other natural disasters
Ensures that in the event of death all outstanding payments can be paid with insurance money
This may include a variety of benefits
Micro-Insurance products are designed to be appropriate for low income markets in terms of cost, contract terms, coverage and delivery mechanisms. The specific market focus of micro-insurance requires a specialized product development process.
The product development process is continuous and designed to ensure that appropriate products get delivered to the market in an effective manner and are monitored for potential improvement
Before any product development project is started it is important to make sure that the institution is prepared for the work and challenges that are inevitable within this process.  Managers should ask questions to help them understand the level of their institution’s preparedness for product development, as well as identify areas that should be improved prior to commencing this process. In order to progress, managers need to first understand the institution’s position on micro-insurance in terms of several key areas including: business mission and strategy, the organizational culture, financial viability, organizational culture.  Without confidence that the institution is prepared for the rigors of micro-insurance product development, it is unlikely that progress will be made, and understanding this in advance will save significant money and grief.
Understanding the market into which a product will be offered is crucial for success in Micro-insurance development. It is necessary to know about demand, supply, delivery and regulations in the market.
vDemand: This phase of research requires qualitative research in order to understand the details behind the decisions people make. It is important to understand risks, the kinds of risks faced, how they are managed, how sufficient the current risk management efforts are, and the economic, social, religious, environmental, cultural, and political factors affecting the market. The gaps left by limited available risk management strategies are where micro-insurance may be an appropriate response.
vSupply: The demand research will help the supply researcher focus more clearly on particular products. A clear understanding of what is available to the market is important because it reveals whether the new product will be directly competing with existing products, where there might be a skills base that can be tapped into, what lessons have been learned from past practices, and how to appeal to the market.
vDelivery: Generally, commercial insurers do not deliver micro-insurance through their own traditional agents, but do so through MFIs, NGOs, separate agent staff or through their own members. The distribution channels vary from retail shops and post offices to employers of low-income workers to rural banks and MFIs. Because micro-insurance requires low premiums, it is critical to reduce the costs of offering it as much as possible.  Assessing other delivery channels helps the product development team learn from others and better understand the requirements behind delivering micro-insurance.
vRegulations: Regulatory and supervisory requirements vary by country, by the type of micro-insurance offered and by the institutions involved. Requirements for agents, delivery channels, registration and approval of product need to conform to the legal framework outlined by the insurance act of a country. It is important to understand how the law considers the planned micro-insurance activities, and to understand the level of flexibility available for micro-insurance.
The prototype must be structured in a way that helps the market see the product as an effective response to the gaps in their ability to manage risks. Due to the qualitative nature of the initial market research, it is necessary to return to the market for quantitative research once the prototype has been developed. Aside from confirming the conclusions from the initial research, this research helps to obtain a greater depth of information about the acceptable premium levels and willingness to pay, and to understand how to convert reluctant markets to interested markets. The first step in developing the prototype is to use the findings of the initial research to summarize the key points that potential clients might be easily able to understand into a general product description that can be presented to clients in interviews. A number of additional demographic and economic data is also obtained during the interview, allowing the institution to sort data in ways that allows them to segment the market, and develop strategies to reach new markets.
Who plays each of the three main roles in micro-insurance (risk taker, delivery channel, and policy holder) can vary, and the same parties often play multiple roles. MFIs and banks are frequent delivery channels for micro-insurance, and they frequently begin the process of product development based on the recognition of needs from their clients. Indeed, it is important that the institution that understands the market and has the best access to the market begins the process.  Selecting an insurer to work with is one of the most important decisions taken by delivery channels in micro-insurance. A poor selection could lead to poor quality products.
Product design encompasses all the key components that yield success or failure in a micro-insurance product. These components include: marketing, product delivery, coverage, premium amounts and collections terms, as well as claims. To be considered well designed, a micro-insurance product needs to be simple, understood, appropriate, valuable, and efficient (S.U.A.V.E.) Some of the key issues and decisions arising in product design are controls (for adverse selection, moral hazard and fraud), compulsory versus voluntary coverage, group, individual and hybrid coverage, term of cover, policy document, premiums, claims and simplicity.
Pilot testing is necessary to ensure that the product is ready for the full market and to limit potentially costly errors. It is critical to test three areas during the pilot stage: products, people, and systems. Managers need to make sure that the market really does want the product, will pay for it, and that it is offered in a way that people have convenient access to it.  It is also important to make sure that staff perceive the benefits of the product and are able to effectively sell and service it.
The objectives related to product and market acceptance, staff effectiveness and systems efficiency are identified and appropriate systems are prepared. If the financial projections show a viable product, the next three steps - documenting the product procedures, developing customer marketing materials through collaboration of both institutions, and training relevant staff – are taken. The product test then commences, followed by an evaluation of the test, and the product is finally ready for the rollout phase once the pilot test is “passed”.
The rollout of a micro-insurance product can be considered an expanded version of the pilot test activities. It also, requires a rollout team, a protocol, projections and frequent assessment, but its scale, especially in terms of training, systems and marketing, is much larger. Effective organizations might use regional training to limit costs or use one or two of the front line staff from the initial pilot testing group as trainers. Significant investment is also needed for systems rollout because micro-insurance management is greatly facilitated by computerization and branch connectivity. If the system is fully computerized, the expansion is generally painless and simply requires additional training for those inputting to the system. For broader marketing, it is critical to have assessed the effectiveness of various marketing methods during the pilot test in order to avoid the risk of high expenses yielding limited returns to marketing, especially considering the different levels of market education required.
If we seek a win-win-win situation for the client, delivery channel, and insurer, it is important to continually monitor and assess the progress of the product in terms of its quality for policyholders, delivery channels, and insurers. The pilot test was conducted to ensure that the three objectives of market acceptance, staff implementation, and systems performance are met. But even if all of these are successful in the pilot test, significant issues might arise over time. To effectively address these issues, insurers and delivery channels should monitor their micro-insurance activity through indicators such as growth ratios and incurred expense ratios and do so by segregating their data between micro-insurance products and conventional insurance products. Different indicators may prove more important to different parties in the transaction. Some are easy to evaluate, while others require deeper consideration of the fairness to all concerned, the product and the market, the phase in the product lifecycle, and institutional objectives.
What are the challenges?
  Developing sustainable products that meet the needs of the market
  Reducing transactions costs (enhancing affordability)
  Creating an enabling regulatory environment
  Overcoming the market’s natural resistance and educational barriers
  Building micro-insurance infrastructure (e.g. actuaries, TA providers, data management systems)
  Distribution: getting products to the market
  Developing a micro-insurance approach to claims
We cannot hope to attain the goals and aspirations of FSS 20: 2020 while over 80% of our population lives below poverty line.
In order to avoid people from becoming poor due to illness, natural disaster, lack of savings, or loss of assets or livestock, developing Countries must invest in micro-insurance. Micro-insurance focuses on helping people from falling into poverty traps on their way to the middle class.
Conclusion continued
Developing a micro-insurance product, bringing it to market, and making sure that the product benefits clients and is managed efficiently is challenging. The process outlined here should help institutions to improve the chances for success of their micro-insurance products.
I thank you for listening.