RESETING INSURANCE INDUSTRY FOR FUTURE CHALLENGES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Insurance as a business did not exist in Nigeria until the later part of the twentieth century. However some of the social Insurance Schemes organized by far commodities here in existence. These sort were organised by extended families, age-grades, and cultural organization which used it mainly to aid families of decreased member.
These days, the emergence of social clubs like lions club and people club has future extended the number of organization that offer such form of social Insurance scheme to it’s members. They accumulated fund from periodic contributions and donations from members.
The first operational branch of an insurance company has opened in Nigeria, in 1921 by the Royal Exchange Assurance Company Limited and remained the only until 1949. When three other British owned Insurance Companies Joined the business by 1960, the number has risen to 25 through mainly foreigned owned then by 1984 there were 88 insurance companies operating in Nigeria.
GROWTH OF INSURANCE BUSINESS
Outside the earliest form of assurance, which existed pre-1921 which undertook what could be looked at as life assurance the earlier organized insurance Companies embarked. Today their function has extended for cover other risks like fire, accident, export credit, Agriculture, etc. The market has groom considerably not only strength but also in assets since 1960.
In 1983 the gross premium income has groom to cover N200 million and a corresponding market income of N634 million.
In 1961 the first Insurance Companies act was enacted, this introduced for the first time necessitated the registration or licencing of Insurance companies. Then the marine insurance business in Nigeria. Other enactments to further entrance the operation of Insurance business in Nigeria here made in 1976, 1977 and 1979.
Beside the primary function of Insurance which is to accept risk and charge a fair and equivalent premium for the loss occurs, the function of insurance company has gone to real marketing go as to capture enough market share for it’s business. With the emergence of about 100 registered Insurance companies, each has the responsibility to make itself popular enough to attract more insurers. This could be done by putting in place other incentive that distinguish one from others and above all restoring confidence that will reassure Nigerians that they are not in business to defraud innocent and inspecting clients. It is highly speculated that Insurance business has gone into a highly talented fraudulent hands which has a large extent discouraged people who wishes to participate by their patronage. The predicament faced by the in Nigeria is further compounded by the volatile nature of Nigeria economy, which has kept drundly since 1983. The inflation rate in the economy has made non-sense or which ever payment of hazard suffered by clients for loss or maturing of the insured risk. Frequent charges in monetary policies makes insurance finds unpredictable and more risky.
If insurance business must make much impact in Nigeria economy, much has to be done. Beside the much talked about Insurance in centers, the development of existing infrastructure will go a long way in not only help the Insurance business but uplifting Nigeria economy. Operator of the business must prove to Nigeria that they are not there to defraud but to work towards making better Nigerians.
This could be done by educating their clients in Insurance law not only to quote them when such clients have claim to make. The introduction of other classes of insurance that is not in existence presently will further enhance patronage for instance presently will further enhance patronage for instance cash in transit insurance, is necessary because of the violet crimes that many people has been victims of. The has sent many homes back to “sequare one” I the introduction of any new policy, care must be taken to hedge against insurance fraud. Though not very common today. Insurance fraud is gradually becoming a surge that threatens insurance business. Few have insured unexistent lives, turn around for invite that those unexistent one died after few months of premium payment a made claims to them insurance companies. Other few took burglary insurance turned around to cart away with such materials and yet made claims to their insurance company, to mention but the few. The challenges posed by the Nigeria. Economy is enormous.
The patient question at this point becomes, what can the Insurance Industry do to solve these problem? The brain of our economy problem is from the fiscal and monetary policies entrenched in each year budget. While the fiscal policy is controlled by the central Bank of Nigeria.
However, the Insurance Industry can contribute it’s own quota to alleviate the problems so posed especially among it’s clients. The resetting of the Insurance Industry should make adequate arrangement for the satisfaction of Insurance undertakers. They should find a way of changing the value of claim according to the nature of the economy to meet with the same value of goods or service the amount claimed could be relevant. In this case the inflationary rate and current purchasing power of the naira should be put into consideration in paying clients claims. The case of investment and prosperity plan cannot be over emphasized. When all the appropriate measure are put in place. The proof of the future of the insurance industry and the confidence in it should have been restored.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of the Insurance Industry presently encounter and more is envisaged in future may drastically reduce the market of the Industry . The remote problems the will bring about cannot be over emphasized. The insurance Industry is a very important part of our financial sector that the government and it’s operations cannot afford to overlook. Though the insurance industry is working had to live up to it’s responsibilities much skill his to be done. With the complexities in the lives of Nigeria an nature of Nigeria economy, chance are that the future generation of Nigeria will need a better insurance service if they must more forward. For the envisaged future, the potentials in the present day should be harnessed in preparation.
The problems and limitations are manifested in:
- The failure of the present system to improve the lives of clients.
- The industry make just very little or no impact in the development of Nigeria economy.
- The present system being inadequate for a grooming country like ours.
Because of the above problems, the patronage level on insurance in fast drundling is very little are eager to take up policies while many policyholders are taking their exit. Government attaintion in the Industry has continued to be on the decline marking the future of the Insurance business very bleak. The expect attendant hardship if it finally collapses may give the Nigerian economy the worse turn.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The assessment of the past starting from when Insurance programme was introduced in Nigeria, appraisal of the current practise and forecasting the future and propounding a way out of the present problems and laying a foundation stone for a bright future of the Industry.
To accomplish these, it is necessary to access:
- How the past has organized, the growth rate due to some of it’s policies and other measure that improved on the past.
- When the growth rate was highest in the Industry, what contributed tot his rate of growth wither the said period and what could be done in improve on that level of growth.
- When the fall in the industry started, why is the industry collapsing and what could be done to remedy the situation.
- What the present practice is like. How it could be improved upon and the immanent danger envisages if such action is displayed or avoided.
- What the future envisages will be. How can it be made successful or harmful to the future and what could be done to remedy the situation.
- What the present practice is like. How it could be improved upon and the imminence danger envisage if such action is displayed or avoided.
The main purpose of the research is for find a way of re-setting the insurance industry for future challenges.
1.4 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTION
Stepping from the objective of this research work it is pertinent to purpose that:
- The rate of growth in the Insurance Industry in recent years has been retarded.
- The rate of growth could be improved upon if adequate measures are taken.
- The challenges posed by the future is enormous following past and present trend of events.
- Only an over haul of the present practice can make the future bright.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research would among others, fundamentally achieve the following uses:
- The study would serve as a ready companion to researchers in the field of insurance.
- The work is a realistic portrayal of the state of affair of the insurance Industry in Nigeria. It will serve as handy tool for government, investment in Insurance Industry, employee and management of the Industry, clients, student of Insurance and indeed business administration department of universities and polytechnics, the general public and all those interested in the Insurance Industry.
- The researcher will create awareness on the general public regarding the aim and importance of Insurance and how it can improve their lives.
- The research would serve to guide executives in planning for the future of the industry to avoid collapse.
Since the effect of Insurance can effect all works of life, utilizing the principles of insurance as provided by the study would ensure that as far as possible, that insurance will have a positive impact in the life of every Nigeria after reading this work.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE RESEARCH
This research will look into the administrations of the Insurance Industry and how this has directly or remotely contributed to the present down trend of the Industry. The effect of government legislation and other. Insurance law in the respect will be override. The contribution of clients to this downwards trend and fraud in high and low quarters will not be left out.
Only a mention of few Insurance law will be made. The interpretation of those law will not be made because the researcher is not a professional in that field. This is to avoid misinterpretation that may bring complications. Details of investment function may be absent.
In depth study of the effect of taxation and interest rats include portfolio effect and stock market function may not be shown.
It is evident that only the elite understand the true meaning and responsibility of insurance business, so only within this class on reasonable data be collected. To this end it is not possible to collect data from all corner of the population. Even among the elite, only a little class are privileged to understand and evaluated what this Industry can do and Indeed do.
This constrain may make it impossible for the researcher to go round all nooks and of this country in this bid to collect data. This is couple with the fact that the class that actually understand what insurance do are those who in one time or the other engaged in some sort of meeting and seminars that makes for the researcher to have to call so many times in order to get them to seat.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The study exposed the researcher to a variety of new term entirely technical and used in the content. This terms are defined below:
INSURE: This refers to the act of making safe, guarding or protecting against risk or losses.
INSURER: Usually a company or individual that issues an insurance policy and guarantees to undertake to pay compensation regarding loss by policy holder.
INSURED: One to whom a insurance policy is issued. Also referred to as policyholder.
INDEMNITY: Agreed amount of compensation to be paid by the insurer to the insured when there is loss.
AGENT: This may not be an expert in Insurance therefore cannot be sued for professional diligence but work for the insurer.
BROKERS: They are experts in insurance and so can be sued for professional negligence. They work for the insured.
PREMIUM: Monetary contribution of the policyholder to the insurance companies of the insurer for the risk insured
RISK: This is the uncertainty or loss eg low price can cause fall in revenue and business loss.
PAID-UP POLICY: This is an arrangement where premium payment ceases, the policy continues but on the policy holder.
UNDER WRITER: This is usually a financial institution that undertake to buy the subscribed shares of a company if the advertised member of share are all not subscribed to. Certain amount is usually paid to the financial house as under-inviting charge.