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How to boost insurance through technology

Stories by Olabisi Olaleye  [email protected]  08094000013, 08111813040

Just as the telecommunication sector has come to be the fastest growing industry in the world, the same could be replicated in the insurance sector in Nigeria, if the players would leverage on technology to push up the current N400 billion profit.
Experts in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Nigeria believe that N400bn is a far cry from what should be generated because the industry has come of age.
They are of the opinion that, if the insurance sector is driven by ICT, the fortunes of the industry would automatically transform overall penetration and gross premium.
Aided by ICT and a strong regulator that does not care whose ox is gored, like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in the telecoms industry, the insurance sector would surely witness growth, the experts believe.
One of such experts, managing director of Pinet Informatics, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, stated that the insurance industry was a vital part of the Nigerian economy but it was not living up to its full potential.
He said: “There are less than 1.5 million insurance policy holders in Nigeria out of a population of 170 million, which translates to 0.9 per cent insurance penetration. When compared to 23 per cent bank accounts penetration, 105 per cent telephone penetration and 55 per cent Internet penetration, there is a lot of room for improvement in the insurance industry and this could be achieved by deploying the right technology.”
Ajayi, who plans on convening an e-insurance conference on March 23, 2017, in Lagos, maintained that only ICT would drive insurance penetration in Nigeria as well as develop an appropriate framework for implementing such ideas.
Said he: “The Nigerian insurance industry could be turned around if the industry transit to a technology-driven one, the same way the banking industry got transformed through the infusion of information and communication technology in its service delivery processes”.
Ajayi, the immediate past president of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), added that, after the conference, there would be a one-week training workshop on e-insurance for staff of insurance companies.
The conference, the first of its kind in the country, would be organised under the auspicies of Pinet Informatics Limited, reputed to be the first Internet service provider in Nigeria, in collaboration with stakeholders in the insurance and ICT industries.
Themed “Driving Insurance Penetration with Information and Communication Technologies,” Ajayi noted that the conference is expected to bring  corporate organisations, ICT experts, telecoms umpire,  NCC, insurance experts, academia, consumers of insurance products and regulators of ICT and insurance to discuss how to use technology to deepen penetration in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, another expert, Ibrahim Mumuni, has highlighted the importance of policy on insurance as well as a determined regulator who would withdraw licenses if claims are not paid when due.

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