Celebrating NCRIB at 60: Special Focus on Innovative and Value-Driven Insurance Broking Firms In Nigeria
STANDARD INSURANCE CONSULTANTS: The Ideal Insurance Brokerage Partner With Global Experience
With over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, Standard Insurance Consultants Limited (SICL) has consistently stood out as one of the most dependable and customer-focused insurance brokerage firms in Nigeria. Without a doubt, the company has continued to grow steadily and has had a significant impact on the industry. This is not far-fetched given that the company has continued to deliver on its core values of trust, integrity, and professionalism by providing top-tier services to organizations both within and outside of Nigeria.
It is therefore no gainsaying that the success of SICL would not have been possible without the competence and astuteness of the founder and chief executive officer whose dexterity and doggedness have contributed significantly not only to the company’s growth but also to the insurance industry as a whole.
Professor Ahmed Salawudeen, a successful Chartered Insurance Practitioner and Real Estate Investment Advisor with over four decades of experience in the Global Insurance Industry has built a reputation for himself as a frontline leader in the placement and management of various types of insurance risks, which has endeared him to a clientele spanning the private and public sectors who regularly rely on his expertise on insurance, reinsurance, and risk management. He is also the President of Standard Group Holdings which houses SICL, SICL Reinsurance Brokers Ltd and Signature Global Real Estate LLC (SGRE); a multinational real estate brokerage and property management company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“I congratulate the Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) on 60 years of professional excellence, which I regard as a landmark, and I give glory to the Almighty ALLAH that I am a part of this celebration. Looking back on the last 42 years of SICL, I give thanks to Almighty ALLAH for the accomplishments we have made in the insurance industry and as an organization. We have continuously contributed towards the educational awareness of members and clients through training and retraining. We considered this as a big intervention and we are very proud of it. Several insurance brokers rose up at the same time and either failed or were swallowed up, but SICL is still standing and waxing stronger”, he said.
Given the company’s achievements over the years, it is worth noting that SICL is strategically positioned as the ideal partner in the insurance business in Nigeria, as evidenced by the level of professionalism with which the company executes its services. It is not surprising that the company has continued to receive awards and recognition, demonstrating its position as an industry leader.
Notable among these awards is the BIZZ Award from the World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB), which the company has won twice and places it among the elite members of WORLDCOB alongside Sohar Bank (Oman), Dubai Duty-Free (UAE), Doha Bank (Qatar), Saudi Telecom Company (Saudi Arabia), BBK BSC (Bahrain), National Bank of Kuwait (Kuwait), Emirates Identity Authority (UAE), and Ethiopian Airlines. SICL has also received the International Socrates Committee’s Excellence in Quality Award in Oxford, England.
The company was named Insurance Broker of the Year at the Business Day Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) awards in October 2021. “This one is especially meaningful to us because it is the only award we have received in Nigeria. It is very satisfying to be rated against other leaders in our industry and come out on top in an independent assessment,” he added.
Professor Salawudeen commended the NCRIB’s governing body for its professionalism in uniting members and its activities in promoting insurance in the country by putting in place educational programs to educate members of the public on the importance of taking insurance policies, as well as the benefits of using an intermediary in insurance placement.
He also applauded the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for being alive to its regulatory functions and other initiatives which contributed significantly to the growth recorded in the industry this year. Some of such initiatives include the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), enforcement of compulsory insurance, collaboration with state governments to widen the insurance dragnet, Takaful Insurance, Bancassurance, micro-insurance and local content regulation.
“As the market evolves, the role of insurance brokers in the success of the NAICOM’s market development agenda will become increasingly important.” Insurance brokers will serve as a vital link between the client and the market, not only assisting in the placement of business but also educating and collaborating with risk managers and other insurance buyers by assisting them in understanding the extent of insurance protection available and advising them on the most recent developments in risk management and best practice,” said the WORLDCOB Ambassador.
HIB: CELEBRATING 12 YEARS OF EXCEPTIONAL INSURANCE BROKING SERVICES
“Heirs Insurance Brokers Limited (HIB) is one of Nigeria’s leading insurance broking companies, registered and licensed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to transact all classes of insurance business including Life and Reinsurance”. The MD/CEO, Heirs Insurance Brokers Limited, Mr. Tony Aniemeke shares the achievements of the company over the past 12 years and the vision for the next decade.
Heirs Insurance Brokers is celebrating its 12th anniversary. What would you say are your most significant accomplishments and how have you been able to stay relevant in the industry all these years?
It has been 12 fulfilling years of transforming an idea to reality. We are proud to say that Heirs Insurance Brokers Ltd is currently one of the top ten insurance broking firms in the country with a presence in all six (6) geopolitical zones in the country and qualified professionals in all departments. Apart from our superlative services in all the generic insurance products such as Property/Assets insurance; House owners & Householders risks, Motor, Marine, Money, Burglary, Equipment/Plant & Machinery together with Construction, Accident and Group Life Assurance, we are one of the major players in Oil & Gas and special risk broking services. We have achieved this by providing world class insurance broking, risk management, and consultancy services. Our services are continuously and rapidly evolving to match the special needs of our clients as we provide the best customer service at each stage of the customer journey. Recently, we acquired our Reinsurance Broking authorisation license from NAICOM which opens more opportunities to meet the needs of all Insurance Underwriters and Reinsurance Companies. These our counterparties are assured of our superb knowledge of Treaty arrangements, Facultative and retrocession placements to their satisfactory conclusions. Indeed, the past twelve years have been great, but more importantly, we are excited for the next twelve years.
What Role do Insurance Brokers Play in the Insurance Industry?
The role of an insurance broker is crucial especially in the beginning of the insurance buying process. The broker is a trained professional grounded in the business of insurance as clients may not understand the different covers that could seem similar but are actually very different. In fact, clients can save money when working with a broker who has already built relationships with several insurance underwriters and possesses full knowledge of the risks involved. This knowledge equips the broker with better negotiation skills and so can offer multiple cover options from different insurance companies which provide flexibility and benefits, so the client gets the coverage that is important, and they do not need to pay for things they don’t need. Clients need to understand that there is no additional or extra cost in having brokers represent them. Insurance brokers earn commission, also known as brokerage, which is a percentage of the actual premium charged by the insurance company.
There are many insurance brokers out there offering different benefits to customers. What sets Heirs Insurance Brokers apart from them?
At Heirs Insurance Brokers Ltd, we support our clients to mitigate their various risks through our robust risk management frameworks, so that they can focus on their core business. We have developed an array of solution-based risk management tools aimed at meeting clients’ unique needs. We identify business disruptive risks and meticulously articulate cost-effective mitigating solutions, such as hedge products and insurance policies. We also understand the importance of letting customers choose the plans they are most comfortable with, so we help them review coverage from different providers, choose the best provider, and then design a plan that meets their needs and their budget. We work with multiple insurance companies, to guide clients through complex processes making it easier, faster, and less complicated and assist in prompt claim settlements.
Where do you see Heirs Insurance Brokers in the next decade?
These past few years have witnessed a rapid transformation in the way all business sectors do business, especially in the area of digital transformation. At HIB, we are currently improving our business processes. We are in the process of digitalising our services benchmarked against global best practices. As promised, HIB is well on its way to becoming a leader in the insurance broking sector, and thus, our immediate goal is to create an integrated digital ecosystem where insurance processing from customer onboarding, and advising on the quotation to claims settlement would be entirely processed online in record time. We are excited for the next phase of our growth.
POST ASSURANCE BROKERS: Creating Value, Driving Growth Through Excellent Service
Insurance brokers are uniquely placed to champion the relationship between the primary insurers and reinsurers by designing an innovative insurance and reinsurance program that will keep pace with market changes and new trends. Policies like aviation, energy and marine risks because of their specialized nature and volume requires support from foreign reinsurers, especially from the Llyod’s market. The local insurance broker cannot place or reinsure most of these specialized risks without partnering with the foreign insurance brokers that have access to the Llyod’s market, such partnership aid cross-border brokerage for insurance of large-scale commercial risks.
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) have been doing a lot in ensuring that local insurers and reinsurers are well-positioned to underwrite and retain a greater percentage of risks locally by introducing measures to boost the financial capacity to enable them to retain more risks locally. The Prudential guideline requires the exhaustion of the local market capacity before seeking reinsurance support abroad. Brokers/Insurers seeking to reinsure risks abroad shall apply for Approval in Principle from the Commission 10 days before the commencement of the insurance and such foreign Reinsurers shall have a minimum Financial Strength Rating of “A-“by Standard & Poor and “A” by AM Best. The reason for the guideline is to reduce capital flight, increase the capacity of local insurer/reinsurers and ensure insureds’ risks are in safe hands that can respond promptly and fulfil their obligation of claim settlement should the insured event crystallise.
Over the years several insurance markets have emerged across the globe and some of these markets have their challenges and opportunities. The London market is well regulated and easy to access with the capacity to underwrite various classes of risks ranging property and casualty, marine, aviation and energy insurance etc and prompt in settlement of claims, Post Assurance Brokers Ltd through her Llyod’s partner Lockton LLP and others have been able to deepen and promote Nigerian risks viz-a-viz aviation, marine and energy and from time to time we invite our partners in the international market to visit our clients and local insurers so as to make our client’s risks attractive. In doing that, we work closely with the Nigerian underwriters to ensure that the local market underwriting capacity is boosted by our market intervention through our partnership which positions them for profitable long-term growth through the increased capacity and expertise to underwrite and retain more risks in their books yet maintain strong financial position.
To this end Post Assurance Brokers is ISO 9001 certified by DNV, a member of the International Marine Contractor Association (IMCA) and has received lots of local and international awards to mention but a few are the European quality award and Bizz Hybrid award (UK). The company is located in major cities in Nigeria and London, UK.