The Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu has with the advantage of view from the financial pinnacle advised the insurance brokers to venture as a matter of urgency into the retail space and, with the same unwavering resolve slam sanctions on brokers who stay in the lane of unprofessional conduct to dispense ignoble services.
With hindsight of the traditional concentration of insurance brokers on corporate businesses and less attention on retail space, Elumelu charged insurance brokers to see “a need to generate more awareness and showcase the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, most especially in the retail space.” He reiterated that it was time to venture out of the secured recognition “as corporate insurance specialists.”
He said the rudder that will propel brokers out of the comfort zone of corporate business into retail is innovation and he was unambiguous, “the starting point for innovation in the broking arm of the industry is retail insurance development.”
The Czar of Heirs Holdings speaking as one who is as involved as brokers are said, “We must bridge the insurance knowledge gap if we are to make insurance attractive to Nigerians.”
Elumelu who spoke at the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, said there should be no going back, rather, “Insurance brokers need to participate fully in this drive as they stand to benefit from the initiative like other players in the market.”
In a clear submission, he told the attendees that “innovation and disruptive practices cannot occur if we do not broaden our thinking.” Still craving for a change he said, “It is high time the brokers community began to shift focus to retail this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.”
He reminded brokers of the drawback sticking in the comfort zone and what exactly they should stick with. “Trying to make profits from existing lines is not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at the blue ocean opportunities.”
On keeping the broking community safe for business, Elumelu said there was need to enforce strict adherence to corporate governance by all NCRIB members and, without minding whose ox is gored, there would be “The need for the body to weed out non-registered and non-compliant members from its fold.”
Those to be cleared out he stated, are those engaged in premium rate cutting, delayed premium remittance, unremitted premium, overloading of premium, returned premium, fake documents, fraudulent claims, collusion to defraud, and mis-selling.
Other vices that are tarnishing the image of the broking profession and the industry at large he stated are unhealthy competition, misrepresentations, manipulation of policy conditions, self-enrichment methods as marketing expenses, and many more.
Elumelu said said exfoliating these vices from the broking fold would redefine the practice and practitioners in the broking profession; therefore, “NCRIB should lead the war against many of the unethical practices that have been the bane of the industry for years.”