By Codratus Godson
Almost everyone is prone to abduction in the Niger Delta and some other parts of Nigeria. The insurance world says VIPs need to boost their insurance policies for the sake of their loved ones.
Life insurance has been suggested as a answer to rising insecurity and uncertainties that becloud life in the Niger Delta and some other parts of the Niger Delta, so says Old Mutual Insurance.
The South-South Regional head, Leonard Oyinbo, who dropped the suggestion, said in a situation of uncertainty, life insurance can mitigate the loss. He said this when Old Mutual hosted its clients for an evening of dinner and fun at Asia Town centre in Old GRA. He said it was dedicated to appreciating customers who are the reason for the company’s steady rise and successes.
On what the Insurance sector has as answer to insecurity in the oil region, the manager said; “We say to people, the truth is, insurance is the only vehicle any under-privileged can leave an inheritance to their children. When there is uncertainty such as security concerns, we say, you can create a better future for your loved ones even in your absence. That is what insurance means. It is the only way you can be gone and still have a hand in how your children get ahead. We say, we want to give you something for your loved ones. This evening, people gave testimonies about what Old Mutual did to them.”
He went on: “If you can say, should anything happen to me tomorrow, let this be for my children. Many people think insurance is for the elites. No, it is the only way an ordinary person can decide the future for his offspring. Someone earning say N70,000 can take out an insurance of N10,000 per month for one million package. When he is no more, this money becomes valuable to his survivors. It’s a credit opportunity.”
Earlier, the Group CEO, Samuel Ogbu, had debunked insinuations that insurance is for elites, saying it is far from it. “One wise man told me long time ago that life insurance is one of the few ways a poor man can leave inheritance to his children. If anything, more is needed to support your family when you are not there. It is also used to protect your assets and replace them in the event of loss.”
On the significance of the evening, Ogbu said; “Port Harcourt as a city and the areas around it are very important for us. We used this evening to thank the stakeholders and create awareness that we are very much appreciative.”
On what the company thinks about the rural areas and insurance, the GCEO said: “We share the desire of the regulator that insurance should reach out. We seek a sensible and sustainable way to do this. Insurance is for everybody and we want to reach as many people as the system can carry.”
He said Old Mutual has a reputation for prompt settlement of claims to boost credibility in insurance industry. “We pride ourselves as a brand that responds to claims promptly. We have to be the leaders and this implies that we have to take settlements seriously as an essential obligation.”
He said the insurance industry may require re-capitalisation but that investors would have to be assured of the return on investment.
INTERVIEW WITH LEONARD OYINBO
Regional manager, South-South region, Mr Leonard Oyinbo: Venue: Asia Town;
Why did you bring customers together this June in Port Harcourt?
Today’s event is all about our customer. In Old Mutual, the customer is at the centre of everything we do. We are customer-focus and having worked from January to now, looking at our success and strategic plans, we admit we cannot achieve this without our customers. So, we appreciated them for what they have done and what they will do.
Old Mutual is 174 years old, and the only reason we have got this far is because of the customers. We look back and see partnership. We see a win-win relationship between the two. We want to grow along with all our customers.
That is the essence of today’s event.
Is there anything unique of the South-South and which of your products easily connects with your publics?
The SS is a unique region and environment. It is at the centre of the Niger Delta and oil is the major product of Nigeria and this comes from here. If anything happens to oil, it happens to the entire economy.
So, all our product-offering is targeted at this segment to grow their assets and achieve their long term goals. Some are for corporate assets and individual assets, all strategically structured to satisfy the need in the lives of our clients. We identify our clients needs an provide tailor-made solutions.
The major concern or threat in the south-south today is kidnapping. Does Old Mutual have any response to this?
I have said that our products are targeted at solving unique problems. They have been developed to attend to different situations. We have something for maritime and the Niger Delta is a maritime environment. The product can deal with that.
We have other products that are specific to needs.
Has the insurance world have answer to kidnapping around Nigeria?
Old Mutual has a long way to go. We are here to stay and provide fantastic service to our clients.