*Urge Nigerians To Embrace Insurance
BY NKECHI NAECHE-ESEZOBOR -As the entire world continues to grapple with the adverse effects of Covid-19, a deadly virus that literally crippled all facets of human endeavor, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, has given reasons why they extended the right issue offer period of the company.
Efekoha who also doubles as the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) stated this recently during an interview session on Channel Television’s Business Morning programme, said
that the outbreak of COVID-19 was the major cause of the extension of the offer period to 1st of May from the 1st of April as approved by Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
He added that it was owing to the fact that discerning investors would usually wait to the last week of the offer before putting their money through.
He seized the opportunity to thank the regulators for being supportive and proactive during this period.
On the impact of the pandemic on the industry, he said the insurance industry, may not pay claims for business interruption flowing directly from the outbreak of Coronavirus due to the absence of the cover but the sector remains poised to respond appropriately when business interruption occurs due to specified risks in policies like fire outbreak, explosion damage etc.
He however noted that some burglars have taken advantage of the coronavirus lockdown by burgling shops of business owners who are observing the lockdown directive of the Federal Government. In such case, if the business owners have insurance, they can be rest assured of a compensation.
The CHI boss also advised Nigerians to get an insurance policy, adding that having insurance policy or policies that covers one’s valued assets is the surest way of having peace of mind.
He citing a couple of instances around the world where insurance has come through to rescue notable world events and businesses.
Although he acknowledged that there are no insurance cover for pandemics such as COVID-19 in Nigeria, and that there are very few cases abroad, a high demand for the cover is however expected to rise in the coming weeks as people’s eyes would have been opened to the benefits of insurance. According to him, “In the days, months and years ahead, we expect insurance cover for pandemics and other infectious outbreaks to be in high demand and the insurance industry would be expected to come up with an appropriate response and when it is done, the insuring public would be made aware.”
On Insurance Penetration in Nigeria, he Identified as one of the challenges bedeviling the insurance sector in Nigeria, the penetration level is very low in relative to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As such, Efekoha, highlighted issues like poverty, illiteracy, negative perceptions, religious and cultural beliefs as some of the challenges marring the growth of the industry. He therefore hoped that Nigerians would in the light of what is happening today embrace insurance so that they can enjoy peace of mind.