By Ebere Nwoji

Insurance sector operators have been advised to prepare for the next generation of consumers and talents by embracing changes and responding to the economic, social and technological needs in the sector.

Stakeholders who spoke at the 2018 Presidential Valedictory Lecture to mark the end of the tenure of Funmi Babington-Ashaye as the 48th President and chairman of Council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), stressed that the industry must embrace new ways of delivering its services to meet the expectation and speed of the new generation of consumers, and talents.

The lecture which was delivered by Babington-Ashaye had as its theme, ‘Insurance and Generation Next- Meeting the Needs of Stakeholders’.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, who chaired the event said insurance model today is not sustainable.

“The industry will die if it does not open itself to change and embrace the new space,” stating that there are lots of disruptors that are ready to take over the business and offer the same services the insurance companies or the brokers think they are offering.

She said the potential for growth was huge, saying the industry currently operates at the least of its capacity.

“There is a bit of complacency in the industry, so you might not survive the next generation if people and technology come in with the new things they have, she stated.

Babington-Ashaye, in her lecture said for the industry to catch-up with the generation next, players in the business must leverage technology, adopt new ways of working, repackage products, and improve products and pricing strategy, as well as data mining.

 The insurance industry she further said, is at the threshold of its evolution in which developments in technology would significantly impact its products offerings, operations and the skill set of personnel required to deliver value to the diverse stakeholders, in the near future, which will be dominated by generation next.

“Given the declining inflow of new entrants into the profession, the fear of a talent gap is rife. We need to change the wrong perception by showcasing the career opportunities that exist, the product we develop, the risks we assume and the professional advisory services we provide, Babington-Ashaye stated.

Speakers at the event all agreed on the need for the industry to bring flexibility and varieties of offering, open up the sector for new talents, particularly from outside insurance, and improve on remuneration to make the sector attractive for generation next, enhance perception and increase trust.

According to them, all of these will position the sector for sustainable growth and attract the generation next.