The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has called on Nigerians to report any underwriting companies that refuse to pay genuine claims to policyholders as at when due as it plans to sanction operators in the industry.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, in a paper delivered at training in Akwa Ibom State, said there is a need to rewrite Nigerians’ perception of the insurance industry in order to increase uptake of insurance products in the economy.
Thomas noted that the commission is planning to start ranking insurance firms based on the number of claims received and settled yearly and that will also be published in national dailies.
The commissioner lamented that though the industry was moving ahead in huge claims payments, the activities of some operators remained a task. ‘Claims payment has always been one aspect the industry is battling to balance.
‘We all agree that we cannot claim ignorance of the fact that the industry is paying huge claims out there even though activities of few amongst the operators are jeopardising the efforts of the majority.
‘We had before now agreed to start ranking companies on the number of claims received and settled on a yearly basis and we intend to make the ranking a public knowledge for the insurance consumers. ‘It is always an issue that puts the entire industry on the edge”, he said.
‘The commission is doing all it can to see that the non-settlement of claims is brought to its barest minimum in the sector,’ he stated.
He explained that the commission has been implementing various market developmental initiatives to lift the insurance sector to a global standard through Risk-Based Supervision Framework; Encourage Investment in Digital Capabilities and Automation like Launching of NAICOM portal, the launch of the Bimalab Project last year; Enforcement of the compulsory insurance products in Nigeria – via a partnership with agencies and states, among other.
Meanwhile, NAICOM has also projected the insurance industry’s Gross Premium Income (GPI) to grow from N630 billion in 2021 to N6 trillion by 2030.
The growth is hinged on notable development initiatives already embarked upon by the regulator to stimulate growth in the sector.
The Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development, NAICOM, ‘Rasaaq ‘Salami, while speaking on his paper entitled: ‘NAICOM’s Market Development Initiatives: The Journey so Far, which he delivered at the seminar said NAICOM would deepen the use of insurance as a strategic tool for stimulating growth in other facets of the economy and ultimately generate funds for the government for project development at the Federal and State levels.
He explained that various actions to expand the reach or tap into a different segment/unexplored market (Retail end) and, other activities aimed at achieving insurance market development, were in place.
According to him, the commission is trying to open up the market across the geo-political zones by reaching out to the states where insurance penetration is perceived to be very low. “We expect the industry to respond to these efforts by bridging the supply gap and ensure they follow up on the commission’s move to create awareness among high ranking policymakers.
“This proves that the industry is ready for the booming opportunities awaiting them across the country. “Let me inform you that the commission will soon be unveiling its sandbox to give room for innovative expansion of insurance reach out. “The web aggregators’ guideline is also aimed at opening access to insurance and also a means of creating a convenient market for insurance. “We can gladly say that the Nigerian Insurance market has undergone substantial structural and regulatory reforms over the years following the market development initiatives being implemented,” he said.