By Adebisi Ikuomola
Risk, no doubt, is an uncertainty of future events. Most insurance solution providers would compete responsibly in meeting their teeming customers’ expectations and create new customer experience in order to continue to survive and navigate the ever increasing complex business environment.
At the back of the pandemic, Nigeria’s economic growth recovered but macro-economic stability weakened amidst global commodity shocks. The economy is projected to grow at an average of 3.2% in 2022-2024. The growth outlook is subject to downside risks including further declines in oil production and heightened insecurity. (Culled from World Bank report Sept 14, 2022).
The political outlook, according to analysts, may not be too encouraging. The following triggers were identified: primary, secondary and tertiary triggers. These concerns were in areas of economic indices, inflation, debt burden, macro-economic flux and insecurity which should be addressed frontally. (Culled from an article written by Michael Owhoko). Political actors, therefore, should harness the opportunities, identify the weaknesses in our fault lines and channel efforts towards rebuilding our moral values and leverage on our diversity to achieve the common good of all.
Insurance providers will likely face more evolving demands for new risks situations and these possibilities will, on the long run, task the ingenuity of the underwriters and to a large extent all stakeholders within the insurance community. The year 2023 will be one of the most defining moments in insurance practice, especially as it relates to implementing the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) template.
The religious communities are holding on to their faith as they waited to see what the year will bring to their plate. Insurers are, therefore, enjoined to step up their game in the area of innovation, new product development, service excellence and a new paradigm shift in the way business is conducted. The technological changes brought by the tsunami of innovations in the banking sector in the early 90’s are still apparent in our thoughts. Insurers should, therefore, not be at the back waters of the changing trend. Today’s customers spectrum are composed of the millennium who will always want to access insurance services through technologically enabled sales platforms, hence the IT configurations at the insurers’ sales offices must be top notch and in line with current models. It is becoming more imperative than ever before for actors within the insurance space to forge greater collaboration in the areas of premium rating, data gathering, image building and a shift in the general perception of insurance services.
The evolving issues on our plate as service providers are quite enormous. Therefore, all hands should be on deck to provide comfort to our teeming clientele base and thus help change the perception of the insuring public. On the flip side, customers should never try to make profit from insurance services by exploring any perceived gap in the insurer’s process value chain.
Underwriters should, as a matter of prudence, ensure all risks presented for insurance are properly inspected and surveyed. The issue of moral and physical hazards of risks should come into focus in the pre-onboarding process of any risks. The Enterprise Risk Management role is sacrosanct, hence this should be given adequate prominence to be able to gauge the risk temperature and provide the needed intervention and control at each link in the process value chain. Insurance, no doubt, is a sub-set of the risk management process, hence businesses must never try to self-insure their assets as the consequences of large and catastrophic losses may overwhelm the captive funds supposedly created for such purposes.
We welcome you in advance to the year that possibly holds a promise of a total shift in the risk landscape and customer relationship management.
Adebisi Ikuomola is the Executive Director, Technical, Anchor Insurance Company LImited