The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has charged operators in the nation’s risk underwriting sector to prioritise improved service delivery as a strategic option of satisfying customers and by implication, grow the industry and improve its contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, gave the charge in his keynot address delivered at at the 2nd Interactive Session With Consumers of Insurance Products and Services held in Lagos.
Desribing policy holders as very important in any form of insurance business, the industry regulator therefore urged players to always treat them well and protect their interests while also balancing their supervisory roles in ensuring soundness of their companies in line with regulatory requirements.
He said: “Customers’ satisfaction is central to the sustainability and success of every business, insurance inclusive. We are aware of some of the obvious challenges bedevilling the sector either on the side of operators, consumers, investors or regulator. These challenges could be very overwhelming, however we must not relent in looking for better ways to effectively and efficiently ensure delivery of quality services to policyholders.
“From the regulatory perspective, policyholders remains a key component of our primary constituency and therefore must ensure they are treated fairly and protected as enshrine in the relevant laws; while at the same time balancing the supervisory role of ensuring financial soundness and reliability of insurance institutions in the country.
“Suffice it to say that consumers are faced with challenges that may vary from one individual or entity’s experience to another while the provider is faced with constraints that may also differ from one company to the other. But there is no doubt regular interactions such as this one will amongst others foster a better understanding and synergy that will result to better services to the consumer”, the NAICOM boss added.
Assuring that NAICOM is well positioned to ensure adequate protection of policyholders at all times, Thomas said that the industry’s regulatory institution was been working assiduously to resolve policyholders’ issues relating to non-settlement of claims, contract agreement violation etc.
This is even as he promised the readiness of the NAICOM to listen to policyholders’ complaints at all times as a Complaints Bureau Unit had been created and made fully operational for that purpose, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance advised insurance customers to feel free to lodge complaints over unsatisfactory services and express their views on their experiences about the industry at all times.
He assured: “The Commission has strong passion that insurance consumers are served right and feeling your pulse on the services offered you by your insurers will feed us with ingredients needed to strategise on repositioning the industry for better services.
“There is no doubt that we all desire a paradigm shift from the current state of our industry to a better state where we will not be grumbling on issues of prompt claims settlement, pricing of insurance products, value for money, innovative products etc.
“However, you will agree with me that none of these could be achieved if we don’t come together and discuss our successes and failures. I therefore implore you to feel free to express your views and speak on your experiences as consumers of insurance products in Nigeria”, Thomas added.