By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
Not more than 16 insurance companies operating in Nigeria are known to the public, a study conducted by GIZ, a German agency for sustainable development and Riskguard-Africa Limited has revealed.
The 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 company noted in the report 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.”
Others 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.”
“I can explain the type I have. I have one with First Bank for N10, 000.00 per month. They said if I contribute for 10 years and if I die, may be 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, “Insurance bears risk. It means security; it is a pool of risk where you can be indemnified. When you get a loss, they can balance you.” “Insurance is good, it helps, it supports and provides security.” I heard from friends in transport business, he said it is good.”
“When you don’t know about it, 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.