The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, said it is positioning the insurance sector to take advantage of retail market opportunities to further promote insurance spread in the country.
Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, speaking at the 2021 Insurance Directors Conference in Lagos, said the Commission is working assiduously to open up the market particularly the retail end, conducting engagements with various agencies and state governments on the need to boost insurance culture across the country.
Thomas, however said that the supply side which is the insurance companies must also be proactive with follow-ups in these places. “If the industry is desirous of having significant impact on the nation’s GDP, it therefore must take retail business seriously. This has to start from the policy level and the directions clearly spelt out.
“This also must be supported with massive awareness campaign about insurance products across the geo-political zones taking into consideration peculiarity of each of the regions.” Thomas said.
He observed that one issue that has been setting the industry on a reverse gear in its developmental efforts is the issue of claims settlement.
He said, “A few amongst us have been making this work a tedious one by not paying claims promptly. We should know as a fact that insurance business is about payment of genuine claims and anything short of that will continue to hurt insurance business in the country thereby giving the industry poor reputation, perception and image. I urge you to look at this issue at your level and deal with it decisively as it has continued to give the industry a bad name.”
The Commissioner also reminded them that the volatility, dynamism and complexities in the operations of today’s businesses has necessitated the need for a risk-based approach to the way and manner the Regulator conducts its supervision and inspection of insurance entities.
He said that it was on this premise that the Commission commenced the implementation of Risk Based Supervision (RBS) of the sector.
“We incepted the conduct of a pilot inspection of some select companies in September this year preparatory to full implementation and the reports are now being reviewed. Going forward, inspection of insurance entities will be on the RBS approach.”
He also advised them to follow up on the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS 17 in their companies.
“The implementation dateline of 1st January, 2023 is right before us. Sufficient capacity building engagements have been conducted and sub-working groups inaugurated to facilitate the migration. You are therefore required to ensure that your entities are in full compliance and ready for the dateline.” Thomas advised.
He further reminded them that the Commission on its part successfully launched the NAICOM Portal on 1st September, 2021 deployed to ensure effective and efficient interface between the Commission and our stakeholders.
The Commission, Thomas said had since directed all operators to integrate their operations with the portal, adding, “It is imperative to inform you here that any company that is lagging behind in this regard is inadvertedly phasing itself out of business. Your respective attitude towards information technology funding in your various companies will go a long way in determining the longevity and existence of not only the companies, but the retention of the brand names or corporate identities.
This is food for thoughts.”