Universal insurance posts N7 billion shareholders funds
The Universal Insurance Plc has disclosed the growth of its shareholders’ funds up to N7 billion and the company’s solvency margin increasing to N5 billion.
The Company’s Managing Director, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, who disclosed these, assured that with financial standing, the company is posed to meet its obligations to the clients and the insurance sector apex regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
Against the backdrop of reports suggesting financial difficulty by the company, Mr. Ujoatuonu said that the NAICOM has overseen the company’s financial report like other operating firms without raising any issue.
He recalled that last year when its financial reports for 2015 was submitted to NAICOM, the company was only directed to give all its assets titles in its name.
Further, the Managing Director explained that the company has successfully transferred all its asset titles to meet with NAICOM’s directive and is now ready for capital verification.
Apart from that the company has met with other requirements of the regulator including preparation of 2016 annual report soon be submitted. Disclosing that the company has reviewed its frame work for commencement of Risk Based Supervision model, he added that it has reviewed its operation to reflect the direction of economic developments and create a niche for itself.
Commenting on insurance practice in Nigeria, he identified as the greatest challenge the prevailing low insurance penetration in terms of patronage.
While claiming that insurance is concentrated on government and corporate businesses, he noted that little attention is given to retail market.He said following the present recession, the government lacked funds to spend resulting to non-renewal of the group life assurance of its workers for last year up till now.
He noted that government has put a lot of restrictions on spending, while corporate Nigerians reduced their assets and asked insurance companies to conceal their renewable policies.
However, he expressed optimism that micro and retail insurance remained the only way out for insurers even though there is poor disposable income among the masses.
Saying that the prevailing economic crunch constitutes a challenge to the insurance sector, but he pointed that as a way out of the problem, the company has in its strategic survival plan, penciled down micro and retail insurance.
Meanwhile, subject to NAICOM’S approval, it has concluded plans that before the end of first quarter of this year, to open four new branches in Aba, Umuahia, Warri and Kaduna.