Nigerian insurance companies outside the shores of this country have taken insurance market in those countries to a new level. Latest of the innovations introduced by Nigerian owned insurance companiesÂ to their host countries especially in Gambia insurance market are relationship marketing; insurance products for churches and transportation insurance.
Relationship marketing is a marketing strategy designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication.
This approach often results in increased word-of-mouth activity, repeat business and a willingness on the customerâ€™s part to provide information to the insurer.
The nation owned underwriters rather than seat in their offices to graciously wait for renewal period when clients renew their policies go out to intermittently check up on their clients to know how they are faring and well their companies have met the needs of their customers and to enhance policyholdersâ€™ trust in them.
Some of the gains of building a good relation with customers, insurers claimed, include boosting a high degree of trust; increase awareness and interest such a company and its products; enhanced tendency for the customer to choose rather than be sold to and increase sale volume of an underwriter.
Mr Fank Uche, Managing Director of IGIâ€™s Gamstar, Gambia in an interview with Financial Vanguard in Banjul, Gambia said the company introducedÂ a whole lot of ideas to the Gambia market some of which were accepted and some others still being contemplated on.
Some of the ideas introduced by Gamstar Insurance to the Gambian market include transportation insurance from which Tank-farm was accepted by clients, ecclesiastic insurance from which three churches in the Gambia have bought. The Churches that welcomes the ecclesiastic insurance are Anglican Church of the Gambia, Redeem Christian Church of God, Gambia and Winners Chapel of the Gambia.
Nigerian insurance industry is also making frantic effort in collaboration with the Insurers Association of Gambian (AIG) towards localizing marine insurance in that country.
Members of the Nigerian Insurers Associationâ€™s Marine Office Committee (MOC) visited Gambia late last year to see how best the two countries could work together on marine insurance.
A delegation of thirteen people, drawn from different insurance companies in the country led by Florence Oladimeji, chairperson of the Marine Office Committee. Oladimeji said the purpose of their visit to The Gambia was to interact with the Gambia Insurers Association.
According to her, since their arrival, they visited the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) to see things for themselves, how the Gambian ports operate and how goods are being discharged.
She revealed that the team also visited State House and some schools in the Greater Banjul Area. Oladimeji explained that MOC chose The Gambia because of its strategic location, adding that after visiting GPA, they discovered that the Gambian port is open to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and that goods could come from any European country.
She said, â€œThe Gambian port is a liberal one, where people get access to goods at a very short period and ships movement are easier here than in other West African ports.
She commended the Gambian insurance companies for being so wonderful and further expressed optimism that their relationship would continue to grow from strength to strength.
Miss Omonigho Warrie, MOC vice-chairperson said Nigeriaâ€™s Marine Offices Committee had a project called Concession that has to deal with easy flow of cargos that come to Nigeria to avert delay.
Mr Dawda Sarge, AIG president said the MOCâ€™s visit would enhance risk assessment and other issues in the Gambian insurance market. Sarge said, â€œthe Insurance Association of The Gambia had visited various countries in Africa.
He described the relationship between The Gambia and Nigeria as cordial and fruitful. He said the visit paved way for enhanced business relationship between Gambia and Nigerian insurance market.