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By NBF News
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Managing Director of FBN Life Assurance Mr. Val Ojumah has said that his company has an edge in the insurance sector because it is capitalising on the branch network of First Bank Plc in the distribution of its products to every part of the country.

Ojumah who stated this in Lagos recently said that the over 600 branch network of First bank is highly beneficial to FBN Life which gives it an edge over other players in the sector.

Ojumah said 'One of the benefits of FBN Life which is peculiar to us is the distribution network of First Bank. First Bank has over 600 branches scattered all over the country. So that is our number one edge and we use those network branches to distribute our retail products.'

Ojumah noted that FBN Life uses First Bank branches where they can, while they also allow agents to go to several other places outside First Bank branches.

The FBN Life boss, who revealed that his company has started selling individual life policies in the market, noted that the company has five different types of other life policies as well. 'But we have more than 100 agents now in Lagos and we are opening a new location in Ikeja, Lagos.  So we are not just limited to First Bank branches. We are using those branches; we are also going to other locations outside those branches.

While stressing that the company  prepared very well before entering the insurance market, Ojumah said that they didn't start individual life products from day one because the preparation is enormous.

Consequently, FBN proposal form, according to Ojumah is different from others. He said 'If you have seen our proposal forms; it is different from what you are used to in this market. Our proposal forms always carries almost all the terms and conditions of the policy.

And when you complete our proposal form, we keep it and leave you with a duplicate. And once we are set, all we issue to you is a letter of acceptance. You don't need another policy document after completing our proposal form. So it is a true innovation because we prepared for all of these.'

On the welfare of agents, Ojumah noted that FBN Life is doing something which several insurance companies are not doing and that is training. He said 'The key to a successful agency system is training. Now if you train your agents very well and the policies are right, they will make money.

We emphasise to our agents, if you cannot generate at least a N100,000 commission in a month, then you are not part of us. Some will definitely move but many will stay. So far our experience has been quite positive, it's been very stable for our agents and that is why we are increasing the number on a monthly basis.

Our target for the end of the year is about a thousand agents as well as to sell 30 thousand policies before the end of the year. So it not a small challenge, we are aware that agency management is quite challenging and expensive. In fact it is the bulk of our expense as far as operational expenses is concerned. But that is the most traditional way of distributing life insurance.'