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Focus on govt business undermines insurance penetration — Okpue

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By Rosemary Onuoha

The tendency for most insurance brokers to focus on big ticket businesses of government is responsible for the low level of insurance penetration in the country.

Executive Vice Chairman of IBN Insurance Brokers, Mr. Prosper Okpue, stated this while speaking to Financial Vanguard, noting that with focus only on big ticket risks, brokers    will not be interested in private personal insurances.

Okpue stated: “The small businesses in this environment have been very much ignored by the insurance broking market. But those small businesses are the engine room of every economy. If you go to Europe, America and our neighbours like Ghana and South Africa or Egypt and those countries that are used to insurance, commercial industrial insurances account for less than 40 per cent of their revenue. The private insurances of the man who wants to insure his family, health, funeral for parents,   his expensive or cheap wrist watches , his personal effects, and life insurances account for   over 70 per cent   of the global insurance market revenue.”

According to Okpue, the insurance companies themselves must make efforts to reach everybody if the intermediaries are not there to talk to the farmer, trader or businessman in the remote places.

“I don’t see anything wrong with direct retail business of insurance companies because the brokers themselves are lazy. What does it take to do personal insurances? It requires a lot of critical mass and high level of technology. The reason why brokers are not maximizing that opportunity is apathy because they are satisfied with what they are getting from government business.

“I assure you that thousands of people will be ready to listen to the broker who actually sees things from the man who wants to buy insurance,” Okpue stated.

 

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