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Insurance Brokers advised to maximise technology to drive penetration

By Emeka Okoroanyanwu

The Executive Director, Business Development of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith has called on Insurance brokers in the country to embrace technology and maximise its use to drive insurance penetration in Nigeria.

Mrs Bukola made this call in a keynote address delivered at the 2019 Mid-Year Workshop of the Lagos Area Committee (LAC) of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB)held Tuesday at the Insurance Brokers’ House at Yaba, Lagos.

The event organised by the LAC in collaboration with global tech giants, Microsoft Nigeria, is centered, “Deploying Technology to Drive Insurance Penetration.” Decrying the low insurance penetration level in Nigeria, she blamed professionals for not leveraging on technology to promote growth in the industry.

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“Insurance penetration in Nigeria is less than 1%. If you compare that to other countries like South Africa, which has the highest penetration in Africa, you will realise we have a long way to go. The opportunities we see are huge. My strong believe is that technology is about to disrupt the status quo in the insurance industry, it is the only way that your penetration can be improved,” she said.

Speaking on global trends in the insurance industry, she explained that basic technology is shaping the way insurance companies across the world do business.“Consumers are looking for companies that will make a shift from paper to digital and are able to enhance insurance purchase and management experience from start to finish. Customers want seamless experience that enables them complete transactions in a matter of minutes as opposed to the status quo.The traditional model where a broker/ agent has to be encountered in person is fast becoming archaic,” she said.

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While imploring brokers to maximise the use of social media in their operations, she advised insurance brokers and stakeholders in the industry to embrace digital marketing too as it is a significant part of any business today. “With Artificial intelligence for instance, we can do a lot of business analytics. We can profile and understand our customers a lot better than what we could do before among other things,” she concluded.

Earlier, while welcoming distinguished guests to the event, the Lagos Area Committee Chairman, Mrs. Bukola Ifemade said insurance in Nigeria, which should be a strong member of the financial sector, is at the bottom of the ladder.  She added that the partnership with Microsoft Nigeria for this year’s workshop is among steps taken to help remedy the situation. “Microsoft Nigeria is happy working with us on this to take the insurance industry to the next level. If there is going to be a change in the insurance industry, it will be brought about by we brokers. We are the critical arm of the industry. As the professional marketing arm of the industry, with our base and equity we are rightly position to bring the much needed change to the insurance industry,” she said.