By Ebere Nwoji
The insurance sector last year achieved total premium of N490 billion, which represented a 15.5 per cent growth, compared with the N413.8 billion it achieved in 2018.
This was disclosed by the outgoing chairman of the association, Mr. Tope Smart, at the 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association held via the web.
Smart, said despite lots of challenges that confronted the industry during the year under review, the insurance industry has continued to perform its role of financial intermediation and business restoration in line with its mandate.
Smart, expressed optimism that the industry, despite all odds, stands the chance of achieving a better result in the current year.
“It is expected that the various initiatives embarked on by the association, in conjunction with other stakeholders such as financial inclusion, micro insurance, the insurance industry rebranding project, the association’s USSD initiative and the Nigerian Insurance Industry Platform for sale of Third Party Motor Insurance coupled with other strategic efforts by the regulator will further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public,” Smart added.
According to him, the outbreak of coronavirus poses a serious challenge to the association and the entire Nigerian insurance industry, noting that the virus did not only disrupt businesses, but also forced member companies to activate their business continuity strategies.
He, however, said the association was happy that its members have responded adequately to the challenges posed by the disease.
He listed some of the disruptions brought to bear on the industry’s operations as a result of the development as remote working, deployment of technology, use of web conferencing technology for online meetings, maintenance of physical and social distancing in the work place and sale of insurance policies through online platforms, adding that these have become part of the new normal created by COVID-19.
He, however, said one positive thing derived by the industry in the face of the outbreak of the virus was the presidential recognition of the industry for the first time in history.
This was made possible by timely intervention of the industry which it did through donation of working tools, cash and insurance cover provision to the health workers.
“As part of the industry contribution towards national response to the pandemic, the association, in collaboration with other arms of the industry provided life insurance cover for 5000 health workers and volunteers such as Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and other ancillary personnel in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.