Operators Urged To Explore Micro-insurance

By Ngozi Onyeakusi, Leadership -

Insurance operators have been urged to reduce the level of poverty and suffering in the  country through the development of micro-insurance businesses which help low  income earners to mitigate risk.

The  Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, while  giving the admonition to practitioners in Lagos, stated that Nigerian  insurance industry lose a lot  to micro-insurance business as the  potential in that aspect of insurance business is yet untapped.

According  to him,  one of the major fundamentals for a successful operation of  micro-insurance services include: A large population, which Nigeria has in  excess  of 150 million people with skewed economic relations such that over 90 per cent fall into the category requiring this services.

Ogunbiyi, stated that  insurance remained the most effective means of reducing the impact of diseases, theft, violence, disability, fire and other hazards  in a country like Nigeria.

He noted that micro- insurance  could be offered in different areas, including health/related risks like illness,  injury, death,  loss of property  and agricultural risks, including low yield,  livestock, theft, fire and other  risks.

He identified other risks, such as  loan protection (which ensures that in the event of death, all outstanding  repayments will be written off) and life savings insurance (which pays the  deceased’s beneficiary the amount held in the savings account plus a  benefit). Ogunbiyi said  the premium paid on micro- insurance must be  affordable “because in developing countries, insurance is not mandatory as  the poor have other important priorities to spend their little disposable  income on.”

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