Experts urge insurance firms to show relevance to society

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LAGOS – Some experts have advised insurance firms to take advantage of the outbreak of Ebola virus in Nigeria to promote their  life insurance policies.

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They advised insurance firms to now showcase their relevance to the society.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that there was the need to sensitise the public on life insurance policies until a cure would be found for the disease.

Mr Yemi Soladoye, Technical Adviser, Insurance Consumers Association of Nigeria (ISCAN), however,said that Ebola should not be a total threat to life.

According to Soladoye, since it has occurred, it is instructive for the people to take life insurance policies.

“There cannot be special underwriting for Ebola as long as life insurance covers death because there is nothing special about Ebola or Boko Haram.

“As far as life insurance is concerned, once a person is insured that person is already covered whether in death by Ebola or otherwise.

`I think it will be an opportunity for insurance industry to play its strategic role in the current circumstances.

“Even the Federal Government says it will soon take up life policy for its medical personnel. [eap_ad_1] “This means the government recognises the importance of insurance industry in this situation.

“It is now left for the insurance industry to take advantage of the situation,’’ Soladoye said.

Mr Sunny Adeda, a former President of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), said that Ebola outbreak would increase untimely deaths in the society.

“The effect on life policy is that there will be untimely deaths and that might increase our claims payment.

“If an individual takes a life policy and died as a result of Ebola Virus Disease, the victim’s family will be compensated.

“The cause of death will in no way reduce the amount of claims that will be paid,’’ Adeda said.

Mr Obinna Chilekezie, a Principal Researcher, Independent Insurance Researcher (IIR), said that increase in death claims could affect the industry’s gross premium income.

“It is most likely that once any insured person is affected, it will definitely lead to increase in death claims thereby reducing the overall gross income.

“If you look at the calibre of people, the medical personnel, many of them will have life related insurances,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Federal Government announced the outbreak of Ebola virus in Lagos on  July 20.

The disease was brought in by Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American into the state, who died on July 25 at a Lagos hospital.

Thereafter, three other persons died including a nurse that had direct contact with the late Sawyer.

On Aug. 8, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Ebola virus outbreak as an international public health emergency on Aug.8.

The disease is currently prevalent in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. (NAN)

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