Let me first start with a caveat. I am not an insurance agent. I am a real estate investment adviser.
A few days ago I called a friend of mine, the CEO of one of the big insurance companies who was under the weather & I teased him that I could understand his sudden illness. If I were in his shoes & had to pay up claims based on the destruction following the hijack of the #EndSARS protest, I would in fact fall ill myself. He chuckled and after we had laughed it off he said to me that 90% of the assets destroyed were not insured. Not even the Government properties. I was simply aghast.
Now the destruction has been estimated at around N5trn. In my estimation it would be 5 times that. And in many cases a value cannot be attached. What is the value of some of the Heritage sites destroyed. What is the value of the court records of 20 years that were in the buildings burnt to the ground?
Many of the people whose shops & properties were destroyed would ordinarily have little to worry about in terms of reinstatement but in the absence of insurance the destruction could spell an end to their businesses & fortunes.
Why don’t Nigerians take insurance seriously? Our level of spirituality – “it is not my portion”! A lack of knowledge? An unwillingness to pay premiums? Lack of trust for the insurance companies? Why?
Bottom line is that we all need to take asset insurance seriously. No matter what business we are in, insurance should be a priority. In saner climes, one cannot do ANYTHING without insurance. In fact the insurance industry is so big that financial institutions are owned by insurance companies unlike what obtains in Nigeria which is the opposite.
Surely one of the major lessons for businesses & individuals from the destruction of property by the hijackers of the #EndSARS protest is a need to take insurance more seriously.
The insurance companies need to invest more in creating public awareness. They need to create more products that address the needs of businesses & business owners. A lot more needs to be done in terms of educating the grassroots about the benefits of insurance.
In the final analysis everyone stands to benefit if asset insurance is given its rightful place in our businesses & lives.