In an industry that is yet to be fully grasped by the average Nigerian on the street, the insurance industry is pretty much uncharted and untapped territory. Yet, its place in a bustling city like Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital cannot be downplayed.
Its growing awareness has been triggered by the recent wave of awakening that swept across the country, beginning from Lagos.
It soon spread to other parts of the country and in diaspora, leading to a movement dubbed #ENDSARS.
This movement against police brutality championed by youth in one of the world’s most populous cities was a cry for every man, a conversation tha had been ongoing, although not taken to the streets in form of protests.
The month of October saw an unprecedented display of oneness and solidarity by the Nigerian youth, as they took to the streets, including notable places like Oshodi, Surulere, Alausa and the Lekki Toll gate demanding an end to police brutality.
Unfortunately, this movement was cut short on October 20, 2020, with the alleged shooting and sporadic killings taking place at the Lekki tollgate, now dubbed “The Lekki Massacre.”
Like something out of a horror movie, what followed was widespread destruction, including looting and arson at notable malls, stores, bus parks, police stations, banks, as well as a prominent television station.
In most cases, the corporate entities had taken on fire and burglary insurance for their buildings but more often, individuals never “insured” properties.
In a highly religious country, the phrase “God is my insurance” is widespread. Ironically the big churches in the city of Lagos insure their buildings.
Now individuals who were caught in the crossfire of wanton destruction of lives and property have to start all over again. The loss of cars, stores, commercial goods and other property means that they have to begin to save up money to replace these valuables.
In case these properties were insured, individuals would have only had to make claims and receive reimbursements.
Are insurance companies doing their bit to ensure that people are adequately informed about the benefits and cost benefits of insurance? Does the poverty index play a critical role in the unacceptance of insurance in the country? Do these companies pay their “claims” to clients? Are insurance companies able to thrive in this sort of environment, especially with fraudulent claimants who want to use their insurance providers as a money-making scheme?
Christmas is here now. How are insurance companies dealing with pending claims which arose as offshoots of the #ENDSARSPROTESTS, inflation, ridiculous dollar to naira exchange rate, as well as the drunk driving episodes that characterise the Christmas frenzy and claims from insurance buyers?
What is it like for insurance sales in Nigeria? What is the terrain like? What is the insurance / insurable culture in Nigeria?