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Brokers Forum Canvasses More Use of Technology n Insurance

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The focal point of the 2019 Mid-Year Workshop of the Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) is on the deployment of more technology by insurance brokers and other stakeholders in the insurance industry in Nigeria.

The annual event which held Tuesday at the Insurance Brokers’ House at Yaba, Lagos, was held in conjunction with global tech giants, Microsoft Nigeria.

Delivering a keynote address centred on the theme, “Deploying Technology to Drive Insurance Penetration,” the Executive Director, Business Development, of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, decried the low insurance penetration level in Nigeria, blaming professionals for not leveraging on technology to promote growth in the industry.

“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.

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.

In a goodwill message, President of the NCRIB, Mr Shola Tinubu represented by the Executive Secretary of the NCRIB, Mr Fatai Adegbenro thanked the LAC Executives for the successful organisation of the event.

He said the critical issues discussed were part of the agenda in the works by the national body to enhance the use of technology by members of the industry to promote the insurance sector.

“Technology is an enabler. We have no choice rather than embrace it. My colleagues and I have been meeting with IT experts to get members online and expand their market base because we believe that without IT, not much can be achieved.

“This ground has been broken by other sectors in the country especially banks as things are now being done online. Across the globe, people buy insurance online. We can do more with less. We should be able to reach out to customers online instead of been on the road most times. If most international organisations are doing that, I don’t see reasons why we cannot do so as well,” he said.

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