The National Insurance Commission ( NAICOM), at the weekend reported that insurance industry’s gross claims in the third quarter rose to N143 billion, representing a 30 percent increase over the N110 billion claims paid by operators in the corresponding period of 2017.
The Commissioner for Insurance (CFI), Mr. Mohammed Kari, who made this disclosure during a workshop with insurance and pension journalists in Lagos, projected that the claims by the end of the year would surpass what was paid out last year significantly.
Kari, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner Technical, Mr. Sunday Thomas, at the event said that gross premium in the quarter under review was N315 billion, or 22 percent increase over the N258 billion for the same period in 2017.
Expatiating further on the industry performance in the year so far, the CFI said: “The outlook may not be as rosy as we all would have liked but NAICOM sees the silver lining and is fully committed to making the most of it.
“We have set for ourselves a clear, unambiguous task: to improve the aggregate numbers by enabling individual operators to optimally serve a much larger customer pool with a more varied basket of products. The end game for us is to increase the insurance uptake ratio among the Nigerian populace”, Kari added.
According to him, the commission has continued to rev up its campaigns and activities on financial inclusion, micro insurance and expansion of channels of distribution among others as a strategic step towards achieving set targets.
Specifically, the CFI harped on the importance of financial inclusion to insurance penetration in view of the fact that getting the mass of the financially excluded to embrace insurance in one form or another will have a positive impact.
He clarified further: “Insurance companies are being encouraged to have a buy-in into our micro-insurance initiatives for the Nigerian market. The Takaful market is still grossly under accessed by the public, there is therefore the need for aggressive promotion in aid of financial inclusion.
“In addition, efforts are being made to expand the distribution channels for insurance products because the traditional channels are becoming too restrictive and suboptimal. Whereas Bancassurance has received the most attention, there are other initiatives to reach out to the public.”
The NAICOM boss explained that the achievement of the goal the commission had set was predicated on the market’s ability to attract business and that customers needed to have confidence in operators.
He therefore urged all operators and other stakeholders to key-into new policy initiatives being undertaken by the commission to deepen insurance penetration in the country, noting that NAICOM cannot do it alone.