The banking sub-sector is unarguably the leading force as far as the financial sector is concerned with a whooping domestic product far more than the insurance sector.
Europe and other leading economies of the world have always had significant insurance industries due to the fact that their insurance firms are usually bank owners. Whereas the reverse had been the case down here in Nigeria until the intervention of the central bank which ordered the diversification of the policy.
One of the major deficiencies of the Nigerian insurance sub-sector was lack of trust from the customers to the firms which is the hall mark of every successful business and corporation as pointed out by Dr. Mrs Okonjo Iweala the former minister of finance who basically coordinated the economy.
As a matter of good-will and reputation, if we leave out the premium income gotten from the insurance and mandatory insurance made by some sectors, the remnant of course is infinitesimal and thus negligible. Those who willingly take up insurance policies are fragmented and extremely lower that those poised to take them up. Hence, a new approach is necessary for bringing about a paradigm shift in the marketing of the insurance sector.
The major setback of the insurance sector lies in the marketers whose major interest is that of what they earn in relation to targeted commission and meeting up targets, thereby undermining the interests of the insured.
Thus, the personnel of insurance firm must come to terms with the fact that Friends and relatives who procure insurance policy do that basically for the purpose of averting risks and the worries and stress attached to the documentation of insurance policies.Hence, personal target and commission on the part of the insurance marketer should take the back seat as these people also need some professional guidance and information as to how best they can safeguard their properties and interests.
However, majority of the complaints and reasons for distrust can be solved from the onset. This can be achieved by the marketers or brokers being sincere and professional in the discharge of their duties, by telling or informing the insured about the need to play their parts, the risks covered by the type of insurance policy they adopted and why the insurance company is not responsible for the excesses and also why they must ensure that they don’t misbehave. For instance after insuring a vehicle one needs not to be careless with the vehicle probably because the vehicle has been insured. That is, they should be told the need to further protect their insured properties as this would be beneficial to both parties.
Another major thing the insurance marketer should make known to prospective clients on motor vehicle insurance is the fidelity guarantee clause included in the contract of the insurance policy. This is all about the fact that if the vehicle insured is stolen by the owner for instance, the insurance company would not pay because there is a breach in fidelity guarantee.
Having duly informed the prospective clients of the inherent clause and its consequences, the need for guidance becomes imperative.
After all said and done, empathy still plays a very crucial role in insurance marketing as it helps the insurance clients to be more aware of the rules and by so doing, improves the image of the insurance industry. Thus, the need for compulsory insurance will no longer be reckoned with as the need to get insured for the purpose of investment and protection becomes a norm.