Mutual Benefits canvasses grassroots investments to deepen penetration
THE Group Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Akin Ogunbiyi, has said that the key to deepening insurance penetration in Nigeria is investments in grass root operation in alignment with the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) initiated by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Speaking at the presentation of the award “The best innovative insurance company in Africa” won by the company during the 42nd yearly meeting of African Insurance Organization (AIO) held in Tunis, Tunisia, said “What won the trophy for the company is our bold investments in grass root operation, where the company has taken the lead in alignment with NAICOM who has taken the bold step to deepen penetration.
He commended the Commission for their dynamism, leadership, understanding and support especially in the approval of innovative products development, market penetration in the rural areas and informal sector.
He explained that the challenge in the industry is that we have concerned ourselves on corporate world and what level of business can we generate in the corporate account. The corporate account cannot give us any meaningful impact that can be compared to South Africa.
From statistics published by NAICOM, Ogunbiyi said, we are told that less than one per cent of adult population has one form of insurance or the other. Nigeria has a population of 170 million people, and adult population is about 45 per cent, we are saying that less than one per cent of adult population are actually insured. Nobody wants to invest and take insurance to the grass root, this is where we have taken bold step to deepen insurance, close the gap and find a way of returning to the rural population where they truly need insurance.
He said “NAICOM introduced MDRI, the basic objectives is to see how insurance practitioners come up with products and services that meet the needs and desire of the rural population. People in the rural areas want to buy insurance but when they cannot buy the original policy, they turn to take fake ones. The people in the rural areas know the value of insurance, that is why we have concentrated in grass root marketing. We have opened 80 new offices in the rural locations, we have taken insurance to the rural locations and keep preaching insurance, saying insurance actually add values, provided for their needs and at a cost they can afford. That is why we have come up with 72 new products to meet the desire and demand of the rural population.
Besides, we engage them in partnership and empowerment, work with the rural population to find out their needs, and add values to their businesses.
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