Those of us involved with Sub Saharan Africa's insurance market will not be surprised by this new survey showing over 70% of Nigerians don't trust insurance as a concept. Across the region, both anecdotally and in documented reports, we can see hesitancy to embrace financial systems in general and insurance in particular.
As a small scale farmer, or shop owner in the Kenyan or Congolese interior, why would I pay a premium for a service I may never see when my farm or stock needs investment now? And what assurance do I have that my insurer will actually pay and not try to wriggle out of its obligations? I'd much rather self-insure and put a little away for a crisis. Problem is my reserves likely won't match my loss when a drought or flood strikes....
The (re)insurance industry talks an awful lot about the opportunity provided by emerging and frontier markets, but I think a lot of their initial enthusiasm is dampened when they encounter these deep regional and cultural hostilities - not least because this requires them to invest in communication and education, long before the premiums start flowing.
Community outreach, promoting education and trust, and the building of plans with pricing and conditions that are locally relevant are the essential building blocks of successful investments in Sub Saharan insurance. People need to realise, on this continent it's about the long game.
The level of mistrust of insurance in Nigeria is sky high, according to a new survey that reveals 138 million out of the 190 million-plus population do not trust that insurance will work as a concept.