The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) recently uncovered insurance scams perpetrated by some brokers and underwriters in conjunction with various state governments.
Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari made this known while speaking at the 2016 Annual Chief Executive Officers Retreat of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) held in Ilesha, Osun State.
Kari said these activities are illegal, criminal and punishable under the laws of the country. He warned brokers and underwriters to beware, adding that the Commission has beamed its searchlight on the firms. He noted that the unrepentant companies and individuals who engaged in these acts would answer for their deeds.
The commissioner lamented the increase in the number of brokers that are yet to reflect on the level of insurance penetration in the country. “Indeed, the Nigerian Insurance market has grown in the last decades. There has also been a substantial increase in the number of players and activities; and regrettably too this increase in the number of players especially brokers is yet to reflect on the level of insurance penetration in the country,” he said.
According to him, the only possible explanation for this could be that intermediaries are not creating new business neither are they expanding their operations beyond the major cities of the country and around a few clients that are already converted insurance consumers. This, he said, should be of serious concern to any right thinking professional. “The face of regulation has changed over the years, but the objectives and purposes have continued to be providing comfort and confidence to the consumers while at the same time developing the market,” Kari said.
He stressed that the task of market development is everybody’s, but added that it is the trend to quiz the regulator why market penetration is low. He noted that penetration would continue to be low if everyone would only operate from the comfort of the metropolis or chase only existing clients with insurance policies.
“The poor penetration of insurance in the country is no more a new statement or information. It is a position we all certainly cannot be proud of. What should be done in this ugly situation is the issue. Developing a robust insurance sector in any country requires developing a good strategy on insurance penetration,” he said.
By Pita Ochai