By Tope Adaramola
I have often heard many Nigerians say “Insurance! What good would come out of it for me? Does Insurance even pay? Why insurance when God is there for me! Many even loath to associate with insurance people because in our mental calculations or most often the unverifiable tales they’ve heard, insurance and those who peddle it are “fraudsters”. Agreed, there might have been some infringements by few unethical professionals sometime in the past like in other professions, but the fact is that things have really chaged; thanks to the more stringent regulations by institutions overseeing the industry, such as NAICOM, NCRIB, NIA , as well as the resolve of the practitioners to play according to the rules. This is definitely paying off with increasing public awareness coming from several live stories, like this one in question.
Chidi Nwafor is an oil service employee who is based in Port Harcourt with his family. In order to succor his family and make mobility easier, Chidi decided to buy a “Tokunbo” Toyota Camry Car, which was worth close to N3million. On hearing the cheery news, his elder brother congratulated him and expressed his heart desire to have him insure the newly acquired treasure. Chidi, like many Nigerians scoffed at the idea, shrugging it off initially as one of “those tricks” to rip him off some money. At last, he agreed, first out of respect for his elder brother and secondly, considering the relatively small premium that he was going to pay to insure the car comprehensively. Pronto, the brother, who is an Insurance Broker, placed the cover of the car with an Insurance company headquartered in Lagos. Since adversity hardly gives notice, the joy of Chidi keeping the dream car for a long time was short-lived. His younger brother had approached him to lend him the car for a social engagement in town. The next he heard was a call from the brother that the car was involved in a ghastly accident, which made it a write off. The questions that resonated in the mind of Chidi was: where will I get money for a replacement, in view of the economic challenges in the country? He was emotionally depressed. What a life! It was while all these thoughts were going on in his mind that he remembered that his brother, Chijioke, had arranged insurance for the car for him. Just a call through and he got an instant assurance that there was no cause for alarm as insurance would compensate him by causing a replacement of the car. This was too strange to be true, Chidi thought. Immediately, the insurance company was contacted and an assurance was given that the car would be replaced to the tune of 90 per cent of its actual cost, payable to Chidi in cash. On relaying the story, Chidi, was full of surprises as well as praises for the insurance industry. This writer felt the ecstacy in his speech when they spoke.Today, Chidi has a 360 degrees positive impression about the industry. Hear him: “I am so impressed, super-excited. I recommend insurance for everyone. I wonder why I had cheated myself by not insuring for so long, even inspite of my eductation”! Definitely, Insurance is the last hope of the common man, particularly in this period of economic challenges. The period of economic hardship is actually the best time to insure, since the poor or economically distressed people even have little or no recovery capability like the rich. With this testimonial, Chidi’s case underscores the fact that insurance pays and it is wise to insure ones assets, especially if it is placed through a Registered Insurance Broker who knows the knitty gritty of what the client does not know and who could stand with the client to recover his loss when it occurs. It is just reasonable that whatever is worth having, is definitely worth insuring! To my friend Chidi, I say congrats for making the right choice of insuring against a risk which never gives anyone a fore notice, like the loss of the car in question. I wish others could be this wise and stop lamenting a loss from which one could recover after an avoidable loss.