• Thursday, April 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Embrace digital revolution to grow insurance

Embrace digital revolution to grow insurance

Players in the Nigerian insurance industry have been urged to drop the toga of conservatism and embrace digital revolution to grow the business and its contribution to the GDP.

According to stakeholders who gave the advice at the 21st Adetunji Ogunkanmi Memorial Foundation Lecture held via zoom on Tuesday, these accounts for why the country’s insurance penetration remained at abysmal 0.5 percent, whereas South Africa has 13 percent and Africa’s share to the world at 8 percent.

According to them, the insurance industry in Nigeria has continued to hold onto its traditional way of doing things, whereas the world has moved on with the digital revolution deepening financial inclusion and penetration.

Hakeem Company Ogunniran, chairman, Lagos Building Investment who was the chairman of the occasion said the insurance industry which is traditionally a conservative industry should as matter of urgency understand what is happening in the technology space and key into digital revolution.

“I think insurance people always like to sit on the fence. You cannot do that any longer, but must create the storm of disruption for the needed penetration to happen, he said.

“We must drop the toga of conservatism, understand the drivers of disruption because that are the drivers of growth, and any sector that does not key into this revolution will be left behind, ” Ogunniran said.

Tunde Salako, CEO, Africa Insuretech Rising who spoke on the topic ‘Insurance Sector Ready for Innovative Disruptors’ said insuretech is fast evolving and has the capacity to unleash new value chains, new markets, and massive opportunities to deepen insurance penetration.

Salako stated that global funding for Insurtech into Africa as of October 2021 has hit $30.3 million, with South Africa having 65 percent of the fund from just three companies, while Nigeria is having $450,000 and $500,000(disclosed), which are unlocking values chains in the area of efficiency, fraud management, micro insurance, brokerage, analytics and cloud computing(end-to-end).

Read also: Is regulatory license repurposing the engine of the fintech revolution in Nigeria?

According to him, insurers must be ready to key in and take advantage of the opportunities as the market is changing and will not remain the same going forward.

Tope Smart, managing director/ CEO of NEM Insurance Plc who was a panelist agreed with the chairman and the speaker about the conservatism nature of insurance and the need to begin to loosen up without undermining the fundamentals of the business.

Smart said Covid-19 triggered the value of digitalisation in the insurance industry, so constantly the industry must continue to challenge the status-co.

“Can we strike a balance to be a bit adventurous with technology, while also not undermining the fundamentals of insurance, asks Tope Smart?

He said to begin to do this, companies must begin to invest in research development by having full departments for this and consciously allocate resources to make them productive.

According to Tope Smart, the opportunities for insurance in e-currency and Fintech are huge, but for lack of data, regulatory consideration we are still sceptical about venturing into them.

Joyce Ojemudia, managing director/CEO, African Alliance Insurance who was also a panelist said the insurance market is ready to tap into digital space, seeing opportunities amongst the population despite perceived low disposable income.

According to her, people have money to pay for insurance as a lot of people have several sources of income that may not be captured or accounted for.

The 21 Adetunji Ogunkanmi Memorial Lecture marks the remembrance of late Adetunji Ogunkanmi, founder of Cornerstone Insurance Plc who passed on 21 years ago, precisely 5th November 2000 following a motor accident.