The Gbong Gwom of Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, has said that much of the public misgivings about the insurance industry in Nigeria are due to ignorance and lack of proper understanding of insurance mechanism as a tool of risk management by the people.
The Monarch made this observation in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, when the management of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), led by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, paid him a courtesy call.
The Gbong Gwom Jos also noted that the misgivings may have been due to the activities of a few operators that had engaged in sharp practices in the past but said that such practices were not peculiar to the insurance industry.
“Just like any other sector of the economy, the activities of a negligible few may have given rise to such negative perception. But that was not enough to overlook the good the industry has to offer the people.”
“The people will derive more value from the services of insurance as the industry grows”, the Monarch said.
He therefore appealed to insurance operators to be more forthright in their dealings with the public so as to erase the negative perception of the people about the sector.
He therefore advised NAICOM to embark on aggressive public enlightenment campaigns to educate the people about the benefits of insurance.
He also invited the Commission to organize one of such enlightenment campaigns in Jos.
The Monarch said, he will not only support the campaign but would also appeal to the State Government to align with the insurance literacy awareness drive of the Commission.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Insurance had told the Monarch and his chiefs that the era of insurance companies collecting premiums and not paying claims was over.
He said any policyholder who believes he has been wrongly treated by an insurance company should feel free to approach the Commission for redress. He added that NAICOM not only has the power to regulate but also has what it takes to discipline any erring insurance company, including revocation of its operating license.