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.”