I have said quite a lot about the benefits of life insurance on this Blog Page in the past, so there is no point in repeating myself. The summary of it all is that life insurance can be beneficial to both individuals and organizations. If you are new to this Page, kindly take a quick tour of the Insurance, Pension & Retirement category for my earlier submissions.
In Monday Again?! I gave a hint about our marketing retreat in Ijebu-Ode. Today marks our third day at this retreat, and I can confirm that it has been quite revealing and exciting. Series of papers have been presented, different questions have been asked, and a lot of brainstorming has been done. Trust marketers – be they insurance marketers or car sellers – they would not hesitate to air their views on products, pricing, and other issues that have to do with their clients. We’ve had a basketful of feedback from our people in the course of this program; all of which are quite helpful.
As we continue to deliberate, one question that keeps bothering my mind is: “Why is life insurance not making waves in Nigeria?” This question has always harassed my mind and I’m sure there are so many of us professionals in this questioning mode.
When one looks at the basic needs for life insurance, one would have no choice than to conclude that “there is no reason why everyone in Nigeria should not have a life insurance cover.” From the personal protection perspective, life insurance is needed for family protection; old age protection; education of children; estate protection; keeping a home in the family; income protection etc. When it comes to business, life insurance protection becomes essential for employees; business owner’s retirement planning; ‘keyman’ protection, business continuation planning; partnership protection; directors’ protection etc. With all this myriad of needs, how come my country people are not imbibing the culture of insurance – specifically life insurance?
This question is not alien to my mind. It only keeps showing up every now and then. And as disturbing as the question is, the answer is not unknown to me or any other life insurance professional either. The main issue, however, is that we all know the problem but we seem not to be doing enough to change the situation.
So what do I think our limiting problems are? Honestly, I can summarize it all into only one statement: In Nigeria, the public can’t see the value they stand to derive from life insurance. You can say that what I listed above is quite easy for anyone to think about. Yes, you are right. But how many people understand that those needs exist? I think it’s about education. It is about enlightenment. Majority of people don’t know anything about our products and the value that we give. That’s the honest truth.
I look forward to that day, that glorious day, when everyone in Nigeria would recognize the value of life insurance as they have suddenly understood GSM phone recharge cards. I pray for that day when ordinary Nigerians would understand that life insurance ought to have a space in their financial planning process. I dream of the day that our marketers would not need too much canvassing before any would-be customer agrees to buy.