By Dike Onwuamaeze
The Chairman of the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) and the Group Managing Director of the Custodian Investment Plc, Mr. Wole Oshin, has revealed that there is no insurance cover for those that experienced business interruption as a result of the lockdown imposed by the federal government to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Oshin, made the remark during the, “CWEIC Sector Webinar: Insuring the Commonwealth Post COVID-19,” that was hosted by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) to look at how the insurance industry would recover post-COVID, and the role it would play in helping to revitalise the global economy.
He said: “I have to explain to them that the pandemic is not covered. It is a major controversial issue for now. We have had clients coming to make claims for business interruptions. As we all know there is a debate around business interruption.
“But as far as the customers are concerned they cannot go to work; their plant cannot open and for that cannot produce. So, they make claims. But as you know, we are guided by policies and other laws of insurance.”
Oshin, also said the pandemic period was a major experience for operators in the insurance industry, which he said made them to fast-forward their digitalisation process.
“We had no choice but to move quickly to the digital platform because we were completely locked down. This was a program that was scheduled to happen in three years. But the reality is that we find it very efficient in terms of costs and reaching out to ourcustomers and our clients are finding it easier reaching out to us on the digital platform,” he said.
He, however, stated that the Nigerian insurance industry is now faced with a new risk, which is cyber risk.
“It is a huge challenge that we are beginning to face as we have been on strong attacks. This is a major risk that is crystalising and will be a challenge that the industry will have to face in the post COVID-19 era,” he said.
Oshin, also observed that operators in the industry have worked very hard to show their clients that they we have human face by offering to, “a lot of our retail customers, especially the motor insurance, three months free insurance. We have worked on this try make insurance look so good.
“This has brought insurance into good light because typically people think that insurance people are insensitive and that we are not up to the task when issues come up.”
Similarly, the Managing Director of YOA Insurance Brokers, Ms. Enitan Solarin, said the positive impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian insurance industry was that people have begun to appreciate insurance as something needed to do, adding that “the way the insurance industry has responded proactively during this COVID-19 period has restored integrity of the industry and we need to work hard to sustain it. We need to take advantage of this and make more products available to the insuring public now.”