Flood loss incidents through most part of last year, where people lost their lives and many homes displaced have re-emphasised the need for those in such areas to get insurance for protection now.
This cover enables businesses including farmers and communities in flood prone arrears to recoup their investment and also get indemnified in the event of a loss.
According to reports no fewer than 150 people lost their lives and around 25,000 displaced across different parts of Nigeria in 2020 due to flood.
The flood incidents occurred in parts of the country including Bauchi, Jigawa, and Kebbi, where over 500,000 hectares of farm produce estimated at over N5 billion were lost, with a lot of people rendered homeless.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that torrential rainfall, river floods and flash floods in September 2020 cumulatively impacted 192,594 people across 22 states in Nigeria.
According to their report in October last year, around 826 injuries and 155 fatalities have so far been recorded and 24,134 people are reported to be displaced.
Desmond Ibekwe, an insurance broker said it’s important that business and exposed areas are adequately insured against flood, particularly now that deforestation is having huge impacts on environment.
Ibekwe however noted that government should give national insurance policy for flood a consideration, given the level of loss experienced in parts of the country particularly by farmers.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) had at this time in February 2020 through its director general, Clement Nze, warned and advised all stakeholders to start preparing for the that year’s flooding season in order to avoid the ‘Fire Brigade Approach’.
Nze urged the various levels of governments in Nigeria to begin to prepare for possible flooding by opening up the drainages, or create drainage paths where there are none.
“Remove the structures that are within the flood plains, and let there be adequate drainage paths,” he had advised.
NimiAkinkugbe, financial adviser and expert on money matters said “We live in uncertain times. Violent floods and storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes; the list goes on. Such disasters have one thing in common; they are “catastrophic risks” that are not likely to affect you in your lifetime, but if and when they do happen, the consequences can be devastating. Because such risks are so rare and unpredictable, often striking without warning, they can be badly underestimated. Yet just being prepared can save you from untold distress. “
According to Nimi, Insurance is a crucial instrument that sadly most Nigerians still ignore; that is, until they need it most.”
“Are you one of thousands of Nigerians who suffered terrible damage to your property from the recent deluge of rains. There is no better time to revisit the issue of insurance than when we have a live and practical situation that brings home this critical issue. How well are you protected against flooding and, indeed, other disasters? You will find that the insurance premium is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of having your belongings insured.”