Interview With The MD Of Law Union & Rock Insurance

March 09th, 2018

Response to Punch Newspaper Questions

What processes have Law Union & Rock put in place to make it easy for people to buy insurance?

LUR: We have put a number of processes in place like the introduction of various e-payment platforms. We have also gone digital in our marketing activities as you will agree with me, that the whole world is going digital now in the marketplace. This was done in order to effectively reach out to both our potential and existing clients and to make premium payment stress free for them. It will also enable LUR drive awareness and increase visibility. On the E-payment platform, we have the POS, Pay Direct (in any bank branch), Quickteller (Interswitch) and Webpay.

What are your expansion plans?

LUR: While we intend to expand our market to every corner of the Nigerian Market, it is not possible to be physically present in all the states. However, we try to have our footprints in strategic locations that are viable for business. On the other hand, in terms of Product offerings, we have plans to foray into Life, Takaful, Microinsurance and Agricultural Insurance.

How has the change of ownership of the company impacted on its operation?

LUR: We have tremendously benefited from the wealth of knowledge of the new core investors in various ways too numerous to mention. They have brought in their business knowledge, experience and expertise from their various backgrounds and this is impacting positively on the organization.

Does Law Union have plans to develop microinsurance?

LUR: Like I mentioned earlier, Law Union sure has plans to delve into Microinsurance. As a matter of fact, we have already set up our Microinsurance unit with its product and channel development initiatives. Like microcredit, Microinsurance has the potential to significantly improve the lives of the world’s poorest people and positively impact the development of the informal sector. In fact, one of the instruments being used to bring the poor into conventional financial systems and at the same time improve their wellbeing is financial inclusion.

Microinsurance can also be seen as an instrument to actualize the much needed financial inclusion of the population at the bottom of the pyramid. This is because the conventional insurance does not by nature cater for the poor or the low-income earners in the society.

What products do you have for low-income earners?

LUR: The success of Microinsurance is predicated on several key characteristics of the product type, scope, use and affordability. Microinsurance products must be demand driven and designed in a manner that responds directly to the needs and abilities of the low-income market segment. Although Microinsurance products differ from market to market, and a good Microinsurance product will generally have the S.U.A.V.E. attributes: Simple, Usable, Accessible, Valuable and Efficient in meeting the needs of the low-income earner. Our Microinsurance products were designed with these attributes in mind.

Do you have plans to introduce new products?

LUR: Yes we do as mentioned earlier. In fact, we have several products in the pipeline which will be unfolded soon.

How involved are you in corporate social responsibilities? OR How involved are you in contributing to the society especially the area where you are located?

LUR: At the beginning of each year, we make provision for a certain amount of contribution solely for the purpose of giving back to the society and it comes in various forms like sponsorships, donations etc.

How active is Law Union in Oil & Gas insurance business?

LUR: As we speak, we are among the top 10 Oil & Gas underwriters in the market.

How has the guideline on the Oil & Gas business introduced by NAICOM impacted on energy business in the insurance sector?

LUR: It has not had any bad effect; all we need to do is comply with the regulators.

What is the relevance of insurance to the society?

LUR: Apart from economic development, insurance is an instrument used effectively to cushion the impact of the risks we are exposed to every day. Even though we may have other survival strategies Insurance responds to the negative effects of insurable perils.

How can insurance be used to finance long-term investment in the country?

LUR: Well investment risks are not insured by insurance companies. However, assets that are used to generate revenue or erected as investments especially real estate, machinery, even human capital can be insured. This is how insurance can be used to finance long-term investments.

In advanced countries, major roads have insurance. How can Nigerian roads be insured against damages?

LUR: The main problem is perception. If the willingness to pay for such insurance is there, it can be done. Therefore there would be a need to create more awareness as that is one of the surest ways of changing perception.

What should a motorist know about motor insurance?

LUR: Motor insurance is purchased for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide financial protection against physical damage and/or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise therefrom. The specific terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations in each region. To a lesser degree, vehicle insurance may additionally offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle and possibly damage to the vehicle, sustained from things other than traffic collisions.

I think they already know. It is just interest.

What should a person who insured his car do immediately an accident happens?

LUR: Call your insurer immediately to report the accident then take picture of the accident and forward to your insurer.

How easy is it to process motor insurance claims?

LUR: It all depends on the type and magnitude of the claim but the most important is the submission of proper and correct documentation on the part of the insured.

What can be done to make compulsory insurance more effective?

LUR: Creating more awareness, prompt claims payment and efficient customer service.

The government usually pays premium late on insurance. What advice do you have on how government can conveniently adjust to no premium no cover regime of NAICOM?

LUR: This can only be done effectively by the regulators.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

LUR: Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you from claims if your client holds you responsible for errors, or the failure of your work to perform as promised in your contract.

Anyone who gives another person advice and/or services of a skilful character according to an established discipline might be regarded as a ‘Professional’. That means persons other than those in ‘traditional’ Professions, such as doctors and lawyers, are now considered to be Professionals i.e. Computer consultants, advertising agents, and fund managers.

Why is it, that insurance firms are not selling this policy to the HMOs under NHIS?

LUR: The policy is being sold by insurance firms and is one of the insurance made compulsory by NAICOM under section 45 of NHIS Act 1999.