Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Assurance Nigeria Limited, Mr. Fatai Lawal in this interview urges citizens to secure their lives and property with insurance in an election year.
By Cynthia Alo
IN an election period as this, what are the challenges facing businesses in the country?
At a time like this, businesses are faced with the instability of the political and economic system.
However, it is important to look into the issues that concern the growth of our national life.
No doubt, Nigeria and Nigerians both at home and abroad must as a matter of responsibility prepare for the inherent perils that accompany a period of political elections with the prevalent multi-party system and the attendant hiccups.
Political instability has been a major challenge to most economies on the African continent coupled with insincerity on the part of leaders to the governed.
These and some other factors have led to uncertainty in the economy and difficulty in business decisions remains shaky.
However, business decisions can be easy and reasonably accurate when the economy is stable. Owners of businesses can predict the outcome of certain decisions during stable, calm and friendly economic environment and as such, it is said that rapid developments, occur when there are no wars and policies of government remained responsive. It is therefore expected that government does everything in her power to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
How should the industry take advantage of challenges of this period?
It is imperative that certain risk management mechanisms will have to be put in place by individuals, corporate bodies and governments now that we are preparing for the election period. The time is now. The most scientific social device to prepare against risk in an election year is insurance. It is therefore right to know that insurance as a social means of managing risk has so many roles to play in a nation at a time like this.
Therefore, insurance guarantees peace of mind to the insured and enhance the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
What is your advice to the government?
The role of insurance in any given economy cannot be overemphasized as the economies of most advanced countries in the world’s today are strongly supported by insurance. Therefore, government should avail itself to insurance in every decision making especially in the election year which is a period of mixed feelings of panic and hope.
This state of mixed feelings can be seen as uncertainty as the outcome of any business plan or decision becomes unclear. Nonetheless, with the tools of insurance, uncertainty in the economy can be sensibly controlled.
Can insurance return the insured back to the position before the loss?
Insurance is an arrangement by which a company or the state undertakes to provide a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a specified premium. Insurance promises to place an insured to the position he or she was before a loss as in the case of indemnity polices while benefit policies promise to pay out lump sum to beneficiaries in case of death or agreed loss.
In essence, to every risk associated to life or business, insurance would provide some forms of security to control the outcome of the uncertainty and when the tools of insurance are employed during an election year they will mitigate any loss that may happen.
What kind of insurance will you recommend in an election year?
Some unfortunate circumstances that may befall citizens of any given state during any election year are destruction of properties as well as loss of lives and businesses, and so on.
Good enough, destruction to properties because of riot, strike or civil commotion used to be exempted in the standard wordings in most insurance policies but nowadays, with little additional premium such can be covered.
However, some suggested insurance products to buy during an election year would include: fire & burglary insurance, house holder insurance, comprehensive motor insurance, business interruption insurance, life insurance covers such as endowment and investment policies; as well as annuity among others.