Industry operators have said the radical policies introduced by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) have improved their operations.
Former President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Babatunde Olatunde-Agbeja, at a briefing in Lagos, said NAICOM was doing a good job.
Olatunde-Agbeja, also the Chief Executive Officer, Boff & Company Insurance Brokers, said he had since ensured that his company observed a zero tolerance for non-compliance with NAICOM regulations.
Mutual Benefits Chairman, Akin Ogunbiyi, said the degree of regulation of the industry was high.
According to him, the commission introduced new guidelines, which included Market Conduct and Business Practice Guidelines and the Prudential Guidelines aimed at repositioning the Industry, boosting insured’s confidence and maintaining financial stability of the players in the industry alongside codes of corporate governance issued by various regulators.
Ogunbiyi said increased regulation was an inescapable reality for the industry, adding that it made sense to engage with regulators constructively.
“Our priority is to be at the fore front, and treat regulatory change as a way of increasing competitive advantage and creating new values,” he said.
In addition, the new Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari inaugurated the Insurers’ Committee, which comprises all the chief executive of insurance companies in Nigeria and creates a platform to regularly meet with the Commission on the issues and challenges facing the industry.
“For us at Mutual benefit, we are poised to deepen market penetration and customer acquisition; embed customer and service delivery excellence; transform people and culture; and drive operational effectiveness.”
Royal Exchange Assurance PLC Chairman, Kenneth Ezeanwani Odogwu said NAICOM had focused on a number of reforms in the industry.
He said they included amongst others, Risk-Based Solvency (RBS), Supervision; Code of Corporate Governance Enforcement; Market Conduct and claims settlement reforms.
“The apex regulator has also pushed for a 10-year tenure limit regulation for chief executive officers (CEOs) in its drive to engender good corporate governance in the industry.
“Policy guidelines barring insurance companies from investing in businesses abroad and in their parent’s companies were also introduced. According to the policy, insurers are now excluded from investing in derivatives except in cases where approval is sought from the commission.”
“In addition, 20 of total current account balances and bank placements now represents the maximum acceptable placement for operators with any particular bank. Likewise, insurers are restricted from investing in companies that have neither reported profits nor paid dividend in the last three years.”
“NAICOM ordered operators not to outsource their investment functions without prior approval from the commission as well,” he said.