Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2010 survey has shown that only 0.8 million adults (1% of the adult population) has insurance.
In terms of risks experienced in the household 44.1 million adults have experienced the death of a relative; 42.4 million adults have experienced serious illness of a family member; 18.0 million adults have experienced theft of a household property and 8.3 million adults have been involved in a vehicle accident.
The top mechanisms for coping with these adverse experiences is doing nothing and using their savings.
The forum discussed how insurance companies can better serve the low income population with insurance products which are relevant, appropriate and affordable to meet their needs and how the benefits of having insurance should be communicated to the low income population.
Keynote speaker at the Forum, Jeremy Leach, Head of Micro-insurance and Divisional Director, Hollard Insurance Group, (the largest independent and privately owned insurance group in South Africa); other guest speakers included Christine Hougaard, Engagement Manager and Mia de Vos, Analyst, Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (CENFRI), South Africa.
They discussed how insurance companies have developed micro-insurance products for the low income mass market in South Africa and Hollard’s experience in rolling out innovative micro-insurance products in Africa.
Speaking at the event, Israel Muchena Technical Director, Hollard Mozambique on behalf of the Keynote speaker Jeremy Leach said, “In South Africa, 45% of the population have some form of insurance, for example funeral cover has grown at more than 10% per annum since 2003 whilst formal insurance cover growth has exceeded 20% annually.
However, outside of South Africa, only 5% of Ghanaians have insurance, whilst 6% of the adult population in Kenya and Zambia has insurance”.
He further stated that, “Whilst challenges exist, there are also considerable opportunities to grow the Nigerian insurance market but new models and new thinking would be required to overcome the relatively low awareness of insurance products and communicate the benefits of having insurance.”