By Favour Nnabugwu
THE Retail Insured Family Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, said it will work to enhance insurance awareness as well as protect interest of policy holders in the country.
RIFAN which was inaugurated in Abuja last week is a formation of Nigeria’s first retail insurance policyholders group that will help tackle the challenge of low insurance penetration.
National Chairman of RIFAN, Akin Bello, said the association’s membership spreads across 24 states in Nigeria and that the group is working assiduously to have members in the 36 states of the federation, adding that the association will leverage a robust information technology platform to guarantee protection of members’ interest.
He expressed the association’s continued desire to partner stakeholders in the sector to increase insurance awareness at the grassroots and enhance overall public confidence in insurance.
“RIFAN commends the efforts of the insurance industry at various levels, to improve the image of the insurance sector in Nigeria. We wish to identify with the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, for being proactive in seeking partnership with the various states through the new State Insurance Producers (SIP) model.
“RIFAN hereby pledges her commitment to continue to support NAICOM in this direction,” he said.
He posited that RIFAN is registered under the laws of Nigeria as a free association of insurance policyholders in the country with a mission to create awareness, increase public confidence and ensure prompt claims payment.
Prompt settlement of claims
Managing Director, Universal Insurance Plc, Ben Ujoatuonu, who lauded the initiative, maintained that with increased public awareness and prompt settlement of claims to policyholders, Nigeria’s insurance sector would thrive.
He said Nigeria’s insurance sector has great potential due to its huge population but is best described as struggling, with less than one million adults having a form of insurance.
“Beyond restoring insurance industry confidence, there is need to further deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria. The insurance industry must rise up to exploit Nigeria’s huge population to advantage; for a meaningful result, there should be coordinated approach in creating awareness in the grass root.
“On a broader perspective, synergies should be created between the regulator, operators and aggregators also, schools awareness campaign is another major way to `catch them young,” he posited.
The Chairman of the event, Managing Partner, Carmel and Associates, Risk and Management Consultant, Hon. Lawrence Dafiode, commended the players in the insurance sector, while urging them to do more to drive the sector.