As much as the insurance industry and clients’ expectations have changed during the past eight decades, some things haven’t, noted NAICOM Boss. He said Some of the basic needs of clients are the same. We are in the claims industry. When we’re working with claimants, they’ve often had one of the worst days of their lives. These claims require a level of empathy, a level of human touch. That’s part of our legacy and we feel extremely proud of that.
The Commissioner For Insurance (CFI), mr Sunday Thomas stated this at a media retreat organised by the commission in Lagos “Expectations of clients are changing. Digitization has changed every aspect of our lives. We can order a car, groceries, deposit a check, all from our phones. I don’t think it’s inconceivable or unfair for a consumer to say that’s what I expect from my insurance company and my claims as well. They expect responsiveness to be a lot of faster, and we as an industry have to adapt to that.
“At Commission, our purpose hasn’t changed, which is to restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities. How we restore that life, restore that community, restore that business, is certainly taking a more digital form, which is what consumers are expecting of us now and will going forward.”
Even as tools and technology-enabled solutions have introduced new processes, claims is fundamentally a people business. “The introduction of technology-enabled solutions has made a big difference for us and our business. We know that people want and demand those self-service capabilities, but they want it to be easy. We know it’s often not easy, so we have to pair that technology with a solution that also allows us to provide an empathetic and caring human interaction in that process, and help us make sure we’re managing that claim effectively for our clients and their claimants,”
“As Insurance business, we have to ensure we achieve that desired customer experience. Even our technology must support that customer journey, and deliver the choice required to reach their destination. Technology also creates transparency on the journey and we can deliver our value proposition through it,”
Thomas said when I look over the last especially one year in the office, I’ve been involved more the manner in how we as NAICOM can process especially the utilization of technology over the years. We the commission that regulating insurance industry has been evolving in the way we utilize technology going forward. Since assumed in the office I’ve witnessed a remarkable journey that the commission has been in the process of transformation technologically. You’ve seen us evolve from a paper handling process to embracing and leveraging technology a number of ways.
“I want to say that we are also conscious that technology drives business. We have started with ourselves at the commission and our automation plans have commence. We want to see how far we can run within the commission. The plan by the commission to have a portal started about now nine to 10 years ago and until last year, nothing was happening. But we picked it up last year and the first phase of the portal has been successfully completed. On the strategic plan of the commission, the last one ended in 2020. So, we have picked it up from 2021 to 2023. We are following and pursuing it. We believe that with what we have in the plan, we should be able to make a difference in the market.’’
NAICOM Boss said from the very beginning, everything was pen and paper, for reporting. Then we made this big, pivotal transition to having a new commission different from the commission i meant. But ultimately it changed the way we were reported. Fast-forward to today, we’ve made the transition to real-time systems and the API integration that is connecting us with our clients,” Thomas said.
“these are all network solutions that are technology-enabled but driven by digitized platforms that help capture and drive data and analytics that have really made a night-and-day difference over the course of the years. And there’s more to come. We’re still in the middle of this technology journey,” Thomas said.
From left: Director Policy and Regulation, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr Pius Agboola; Deputy Commissioner, Technical, Sabiu Bello Abubakar; Thomas; Director, Research, Statistics and Publication, Alhaji Adamu Balanti; and Director Inspectorate, Mr Barineka Thomas during the seminar in Lagos