By Ifeanyi Ugwuadu
Underwriters tradeÂ Â group, Nigerian Insurers Association has announced a record total gross premium income of about N164.5 billion during the 2008 operations period of member-companies. The same period saw insurers paying N53.3 billion in claims to policyholders across the country.
The record performance shows increase of about 63.5 per cent in gross premium over 2007 figure of about N100.6 billion.
Chairman of the association, Mr Wole Oshin who disclosed this in his statement at the Annual General Meeting of the body in Lagos Thursday said the figures represent an estimate of the industryâ€™s key performance indices.
â€œIt is estimated that the volume of business written by insurance companies grew from N100.6 billion in 2007 to about N164.5 billion in 2008, the Council chairman stated.
On the strength of the claims paid last year by insurers, Oshin declared that the result â€œattests to the ability of insurance companies to pay all genuine claims promptly and expeditiously.â€
Oshin was confident that the industry will surpass the 2008 record as â€œcompanies continue to device strategies to overcome the ravaging effects of the global economic meltdown.â€
Within the period, membership of the association increased to 57 from 49 member companies, ostensibly due to companies that have split their portfolios from composite to general business and life operations.
The chairman recalled the peak period of insurance companiesâ€™ active play in the stock market when total market capitalisation stood at N670 billion against less than N200 billion achieved a year earlier attributing the high records to the fresh injection of funds from recapitalisation.
On the local content policy of the Federal Government, Oshin disclosed that the insurance group had been able to secure from government â€œguidelines on consortium bidding with the assistance of the National Insurance Commission.â€
In addition, he also informed underwriters that a memorandum was presented to the National Assembly during the public hearing on Nigerian Oil & Gas industry Content Development Bill.
Furthermore, the association is working in collaboration with NAICOM, the industry regulator to achieve full implementation of the Nigerian Content on oil and gas, compulsory insurances and other services that require governmentâ€™s enforcement muscle.