My friend and brother, Peter Adediji, through his firm, Peninscope, organized a public lecture titled, “The Role of Pension & Insurance in the Economy in an Election Year” a couple of days ago. Quite a thoughtful topic in an environment where insurance awareness is still very low.
One must give credit to Peter for his efforts at educating the public on pension and insurance matters over the years . From his radio programs to TV appearances, and from his seminars to magazine publication, he remains solidly committed to the cause.
Though I was unable to attend his recent public lecture, it is pleasing to note that it received a wide media coverage. As I read through the reports, different thoughts kept running through my mind: ‘I wish the generality of Nigerians could understand the benefits of insurance; if only our businessmen could understand that insurance exists so that their businesses can stand; imagine the level of financial relief that our people would get if the political class could embrace insurance properly…’
As if to convince me that we still have a long way to go, my eyes suddenly strayed to another news report titled, “38 Vehicles, 71 Shops, Houses, Others Razed In Lagos Abule- Egba Pipeline Fire.” The sad incident occurred at about 2.00AM yesterday. Up till now, I keep imagining the level of financial and emotional distress the victims must be going through at this period. What an awful Christmas present!
As Peninscope’s public lecture suggests, we are entering into an election year so pension and insurance ought to be given due consideration. I will restrict this piece to insurance.
We have, indeed, entered the election campaign period. The question, sadly, is how many of our political leaders are thinking about insurance protection? Maybe we should reverse the question to read: How many of our insurance practitioners are campaigning for insurance protection during this special period?
Apart from the volatility issues which deserve proper considerations, we now have 91 political parties in the country. As entities, they have several responsibilities. As employers of labour, they also have responsibilities and corresponding liabilities.
Today, cyber-attack is a great threat to elections and that of America is still raging. Who says it cannot happen in our country? What’s the level of awareness, and are we able to offer necessary insurance protection as practitioners?
Okay, let me mellow as I am probably taking the point from too high a level. Let’s focus on the “simple” insurance protection that should be properly embraced, most especially during this election period. Below is a summary:
- Liability Insurance – These days, people are becoming more educated about their legal rights and there could be lawsuits against politicians and political parties during the election period. Liability insurance offers the necessary protection from third party claims and lawsuits.
- Commercial Property Insurance – Protection for business property from covered events such as fire, theft and vandalism.
- Directors and Officers Insurance – This protects directors and supervisors from lawsuits related to negligence and mismanagement.
- Employment Practices Insurance – Protection for employers against employee-related lawsuits such as discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment etc. If anyone is still in doubt about sexual harassment issues as far as Nigeria is concerned, let him/her read the case of Obafemi Awolowo University lecturer who has just been sentenced.
- Fidelity Guaranty Insurance – Provides coverage for employee theft, fraud and dishonesty.
- Cyber Liability Insurance – We are back to cyber again. Cyber insurance covers losses associated with a data breach. This should interest our political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC). As rightly observed by Insurance Business America, “Intangible risk is a difficult concept to grasp. How can something be risky if you can’t see it? How can you lose money on something that has no palpable value? This is the backdrop that cyber insurers, brokers and risk managers are constantly battling against. And they’ve done a great job so far. Cyber is one of the hottest topics in the insurance industry and one of the fastest-growing markets around the world. Cyber insurance is now a common purchase among large commercial organizations and is slowly gaining the interest of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).”
- Commercial Motor Insurance – Coverage for organization’s vehicles in relation to accidents involving bodily injury and property damage.
- Non-Owned and Hired Motor Insurance – Insurance coverage for rented or leased vehicles or for cars used for organization’s business but owned by employees. This is a common scenario during election periods.
- Workmen’s Compensation Insurance – Provides employee’s loss of wages and medical costs if there is a work-related injury or illness.
- Life Insurance – I reserved this till now. Life insurance protection offers financial protection for loss of life. In the event of death, a pre-agreed sum of money is paid by the insurance company to a named beneficiary.
- Special Events Insurance – Covers events such as conventions, inaugurations, parades and rallies. Look at the crowd that we see on our TV screens during the political rallies. Imagine what could go wrong. Imagine the level of liabilities that could arise. And then, think about the need for insurance protection.