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‘Robust retail market key to healthy risk sector’



NAICOM’s Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel

THERE is no doubt that the insurance industry in Nigeria today, notwithstanding the challenges, has become dynamic and quite robust in line with reforms in the financial services environment.

With improved regulatory oversight, business of insurance is no longer as usual. Operators in collaboration with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) are constantly evolving new techniques in providing quality customer service in a way of restoring insurance practice to what it should be, with international best practice as a benchmark.

According to practitioners, the industry in collaboration with NAICOM are implementing strategies for moving the industry forward especially in the areas of increase in industry gross premium , reduction in insurance gap of 94 per cent that exist in the industry, protection of policyholders interest and increase in insurance contribution to the GDP from the current 0.72 per cent to over three per cent.

For instance, the Chief Client Officer, Mansard Insurance Plc, Tosin Runsewe, told shareholders at the 23rd yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos last week, “During the year 2014, we wrote a new strategic plan, the fourth in the series since we restructured the company in 2004. This was done by members of staff, the board and a leading consultancy firm. The project outlined major strategic objectives for your company as follows: Building structures to enhance our retail distribution channels; create technology aided value-added services and solutions; build a corporate structure that will enhance the efficiency of the group’s multi-line businesses; play a leading role in implementing regulations and risk standards within the industry; explore investments into other emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa”

According to him, we are confident that this strategy would position Mansard as a dominant player locally and in every sector we serve our customers. We continue to count on your support.

He said “Our investment in the retail space of our market was re-affirmed with the opening of six more agency offices (Mansard welcome centres) and the launch of our online portal where customers can conveniently purchase a range of insurance products at any time of the day and from anywhere in the world. These investments continue to pay off as our retail business recorded very strong growth in GPW of 26 per cent with agency and e-commerce channels driving this growth. Institutional business also demonstrated recovery from the initial effect of the “No Premium No Cover” regulation, growing GPW by 24 per cent as compared to five per cent in 2013”

Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Yetunde Ilori, told the shareholders “the general business portfolio experienced a 24 per cent growth in gross premium written, driven largely by growth in the oil and energy, motor and fire lines. We also experienced a 36 per cent growth in underwriting results this year. The life business GPW grew by 32 per cent in 2014 due to the implementation of the No Premium No Cover policy. Growth in Life GPW was driven by group life and individual life classes of business; these classes grew by 33 per cent respectively.”

The Chairman of the company, Dr. Victor Osibodu, remarks: “In December 2014, AXA group in a bid to actualize its sub-Saharan Africa expansion ambitions acquired 100 per cent equity in Assur Africa Holdings (AAH); AAH holds a 77 per cent stake in Mansard Insurance Plc, thereby making AXA the beneficial owners of Mansard.

According to him, “AXA is the global leader in insurance and asset management with 157,000 employees and distributors serving 102 million clients in 56 countries. In 2014, AXA’s revenues were in excess of Euro91 billion while assets under management were Euro277 billion. This year AXA has been recognized as the number one insurance brand worldwide for the sixth consecutive year.

Mansard stands to benefit from limitless access to global resources, capacity development, stronger global brand recognition, he said.

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