Man-made disasters: Nigerians admonished to imbibe insurance culture

Rosesmary Onuoha

In the face of man-made disasters such as road accidents across the country, collapse of buildings etc, Nigerians have been admonished to imbibe insurance culture to cushion the devastating effect of losses arising from such calamities.

This advice is coming on the heels of the various incessant cases of fire outbreak and the ravaging floods in some parts of the country which have destroyed properties worth millions of Naira.

The Head of Technical Division, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Tajudeen Rufai said this is the time Nigerians need to consciously educate themselves on the benefits they are bound to derive in taking up an insurance policy.

He said there are various insurance products that the insuring public can take in protecting their lives and properties, but that the most important thing is for the customers out there to willingly open their minds in accepting the fact that insurance is a very important aspect of their lives.

In his words, “Nigerians have waited too long in willingly accepting and recognising the fact that without insurance, one is like building a house without a foundation and in no time, it could come crashing; and when that happens, you will have to start from the scratch again with even more funds than you initially spent”. He said insurance gives you the promise of a safe and comfortable future. The earlier we disabuse our minds of the old notion that insurance doesn’t work, the better it will be for all of us, he concluded.

In the same vein, the Head of Marketing and Relationship Management in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Ugochi Odemelam, has attributed the low patronage of insurance in the country to the fact that Nigerians lack the basic insurance knowledge to fully appreciate the benefits inherent in it. According to her, “there’s a general lack of awareness about insurance products and how it works by majority of Nigerians. Experience has shown that some people who took out one policy or the other sometime in the past but with some awry experience along the line largely due to their inability of taking out time to study their insurance contracts or policies as the case may be.

She said these set of people are capable of giving wrong information or misrepresentation of ideas to would-be customers out there who would have taken one policy or the other.

She said the recent flood experience in Lagos is an eye-opener to what insurance could have taken care of in terms of compensation. The flood destroyed properties and vehicles worth millions of Naira in Lagos State and some parts of the country in the month of July. She said Customers of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc who took the comprehensive Motor Policy with flood extension clause are being attended to at the moment and will be adequately compensated as soon as the necessary processes are sorted out. She also said that customers who took the fire insurance policy and had their properties damaged in the flood will be duly attended to, as flood is a special peril covered under the fire policy.

She urged Nigerians to always give heed to counsel given by Professional Bodies and Government Agencies with regards to very pertinent issues that are bound to affect our daily lives in all ramifications. Her inference was based on the recent warning given by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, which from all indications showed that Nigerians did not give vent to the advice as evidenced by the catastrophic loss majority of Nigerians experienced during the flood.

She concluded by saying that her company, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc sympathize with all those who experienced one loss or the other during the flood and appealed that going further, Nigerians should begin to cultivate an uncompromising culture of insurance.

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