…Plans ranking by claims payment
Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is leveraging technology to deepen insurance penetration across the country.
The Commissioner for Insurance (CI), Mr. Sunday Thomas, disclosed this at the one-day retreat for financial journalists, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, at the weekend.
He said, “The Commission is focusing on using technology to boost access to insurance as that seems the way to go under the prevailing circumstance.
“We are exploring ways to take insurance to where the other financial sectors are or even surpass that mark. Financial transactions are more of a one-stop shop for everything and it is either we key in or we lose the business to more innovative outlets that will seize it from us.
“The Commission will soon be unveiling the Commission’s sandbox to give room for innovative expansion of insurance reach. The web aggregators’ guideline is also aimed at opening access to insurance and also a means of creating a convenient market for insurance.”
Mr Sunday added that it has also led the industry’s investment in digital capabilities and automation, such as the launching of NAICOM Portal and the launch of the Bimalab Project, last year.
According to the CI, the organisation was undertaking various reforms in the industry, including the Risk-Based Supervision Framework, in order to expand its reach in the nation’s economy.
He said that the commission was working to open the market across the nation’s geopolitical zones, in order to attract more consumers into the industry.
Mr. Thomas noted that payment of claims by insurance companies would become the basis for ranking them in his team’s efforts toward reducing to the minimum, cases of lack of prompt claims payment.
His words, “Claims payment has always been one aspect the industry is battling to balance.
“We all agree that we cannot claim ignorance of the fact that the industry is paying huge claims out there even though activities of few amongst the operators is jeopardising the efforts of the majority.
“We had before now agreed to start ranking companies on the number of claims received and settled on an annual basis and we intend to publish such ranking for the insurance consumers. It is always an issue that puts the entire industry on the edge.
“The Commission is doing all it can to see that the non-settlement of claims is brought to its barest minimum in the sector.”
In his presentation on the growth of the Nigerian insurance industry, the Director of Supervision, Mr. Barineka Thompson, disclosed that its total assets had grown from N897.96 billion in 2017 to N2.148 trillion as of last year.