PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY INTERMEDIARIES IN THE NIGERIA INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND THE FUTURE PROSPECTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The need for intermediaries in insurance market in Nigeria is an issue which its important cannot be over emphasized. Research has shown that the problems encountered by the intermediaries has an impact on the growth of insurance level in our society, there is a wide spread of lack of what benefit it is to the society. Research has shown that there is a significant relationship between the extent to which one understands and the importance one attaches to insurance. The more clear and understandable one finds insurance to be and the more likely it is that the insurance intermediaries will be know the importance of insurance before the facilitators can be recognized. This shows that low level of literacy constitutes to the problems encountered by the insurance intermediaries. Because the intermediaries work for the insurance company, any problem that affects the company affects them.
The experience of some people who had be dealings with insurance over the years ha snot be very cordial such unfavourable relationship had been publicize over the years that it has created a poor perception of insurance intermediaries and the insurance companies to the general public. Insurance have not help issues by their reticent in publishing their activities. One has to be aware of insurance before one makes a conscious effort to understand what it is all about. The insurance industry has the duty to create awareness of the existences of their intermediaries and their industry in the minds of the public.
Individual insurance companies have the responsibility of letting the public know that its intermediaries exist and what functions they perform. Literature such as one of the roles of insurance companies and intermediaries to individuals and the society in general should be widely circulated.
Handling of insurance claim is another area were insurance intermediaries encounter problem. This is obvious because when an insurance company could not settle her claim with the insured (policyholder) the impact fall on the intermediaries that facilitate contractual relationship between the insured and the insurance company. This makes the general public to call both the intermediaries and insurance companies fraudsters. A good insurance transaction lies essentially on the ease with which are insurer claim cheque is received. Claims handling is one area were an effective communication is necessary, as well as reaching prompt decision immediately all facts are known. The inability of the insurance companies to do this makes it difficult for an intermediary to help his clients in sorting out their claim with the company.
Location of the insurance company also is one of the problems encountered by intermediaries because they find it difficult to transact business in rural area. There is no comparison between an insurance company situated in the city and that of rural area. Insurance company situated in a rural area might not be progressing because of the low level of literacy of people in the area.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The image of insurance industry and their intermediaries is noting to write home about. This is to those who do not know what insurance is all about. Having complied with the rules and regulations of the insurance supervisory authorities in which they operate, though there are still problems in the insurance companies and the among them are as follows.
(a) Ineffective publicity, lack of information about different classes of insurance and benefits behinds each classes of insurance to the policyholder is acting as one of the problems being encountered by the insurance companies and their intermediaries.
(b) Public unawareness of the essence of insurance takes time for the brokers and agents to be known in the public. Many of our people today are still ignorance of what insurance is all about and this is really telling on the insurance companies.
(c) Location of the insurance company is one of the problems being encountered by insurance intermediaries.
(d) The find it difficult to transact business in a small area. Take for instance, an insurance company whose Head office is at Ngwo will be loosing a lot while other competitors situated in the city such as Lagos are progressing.
(e) Competition among the brokers and agents by using unorthodox method which is due to variation in rates. There has been always difficult among these intermediaries. Another problem is what affects the insurance companies also affect them.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
This study is aimed at achieving the following objectives.
1. To find out the causes of the problem that the intermediaries encounter.
2. The important of intermediaries in the insurance industry.
3. Who are insurance intermediaries.
4. To make suggestion on how to eradicate the problem.
1.4 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The study will be of immense value to brokerage firm, the insurance companies, the general public and to student of insurance and other related fields.
The work will be of immense help to future researchers who will make their own investigation into this subject area.
The study will reveal the important of these intermediaries to the insurance company. Having mentioned some of the jobs done by the intermediaries, there are other areas by which they are useful to the company.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The area of this thesis is Nigeria. The research is to find out the problems encountered by intermediaries and the causes.
This study is limited to the Brokers and Agents in Nigerian insurance industry. In the process of carrying out this study, the researcher encountered some problems which include finance cost of transportation to areas where data are to be collected was too high.
Another major limitation to this study was the attitude of the respondents towards answering question.
A research of this nature which is expected to produced for reaching results would have required more time to make in-depth personal observation possible but since the paper has to be submitted within a specific time I have to utilize the much time.
The general problem student is finance and money required to travel to brokerage firms and agents offices constantly to get information. Besides money was also required to type the questionnaire and distribute and collect them back. Money was also weeded to get out the final volume of the work.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Brokers: Person who buys and sells for others. And regarded as professional expert. The gives advice and recommends to people.
Agent: Person who acts for or who manages the business affairs of other.
Premium: A little consideration which the insured pays to the insurer in view of the risk insured so that if loss occur the insurer will put the insured in the same financial position he was before the loss.
Insured: The party entitled to receive money under an assurance contract on the happening of a stated contingency.
Liability: State of being liable or responsibility for an act.