The Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, is encouraging its members to invest more in technology to help efforts aimed at building a robust industry.
Speaking at the Insurance Meets Tech (IMT 2.0) conference with the theme: ‘Unlocking Policy and Tech Bottleneck Hindering Disruptive Insurance Penetration’.
President of NIA, Olusegun Omosehin, said despite the current challenges of inflation and inadequate infrastructure in the country, insurers are embracing technology to drive growth.
With this, he said the insurance gross premium in Nigeria is expected to cross N1 trillion at the end of 2023.
Nigeria’s insurance companies are aiming to achieve over N1 trillion in gross premium this year by leveraging technology to drive insurance product adoption and acceptability in the country.
With a resolve to push insurance penetration in Nigeria beyond its current level of less than 1 per cent the insurers want to surpass last year’s record of N726.2 billion gross premium.
While noting that the insurers are also working with the industry regulators to drive insurance awareness, the NIA President said:, “In this era defined by rising technology advancements and digital disruptions, the insurance industry in the past years has remained resilient and strong despite the economic headwinds that are challenging our nation, we reaffirm our commitment to drive innovation for economic growth and to secure the future of our businesses, and national assets.”
However, during a panel session at the event to identify why insurance penetration in Nigeria is still less than 1 per cent despite the efforts being put in place over the years to drive adoption, Client Technology Lead at Microsoft, Wole Odeleye, said one key thing that is missing in the insurance industry is embeddedness.
According to him, insurance services need to be embedded into banking services, which has already been embraced by Nigerians in order to get wider acceptance.
He noted that this strategy was what led to the success of fintechs in Nigeria as they embedded their services into the financial system and latched onto what Nigerians love to do.
“Most insurance organizations in the last four years have come a long way in terms of building technology platforms to facilitate the adoption of insurance. There has been quite a lot of work around customer experience. It’s not perfect, but there has been an improvement in that area. There has been a lot of increased focus on collaborations. But there’s still a long way to go. And that is because the insurance industry has not been fully embedded into the heart of financial services.
Until that is done, insurance services may not scale in Nigeria. The fintechs started by embedding their products into the financial services and that is why they are able to scale. They started as an extension of the existing financial services,” Odeleye said.
In his welcome address, the Convener of the Insurance Meet Tech event, Mr. Odion Aleobua, said the burgeoning success of insurtech companies with substantial millions of dollars in investment underscores the importance of embracing technology and innovation to shape the future of insurance in Nigeria.
While noting that the N726.2 billion gross premium recorded by the insurance industry last year was impressive, he said a look at the gross earnings of Zenith Bank alone for the same year, which stood at N945.5 billion would show that the Nigerian insurance industry has yet to scratch the surface.
He noted that the Insurance Meet Tech event was designed to harness the potential of the insurance industry by bringing together visionaries, innovators, and industry leaders committed to pushing the boundaries of what insurance can achieve in Nigeria.