Local insurance firms should retain more risks –Experts


Experts have urged local insurance firms to increase capacity to retain more risks locally in order to increase the profitability of the nation’s insurance industry.

They spoke at a media event jointly sponsored by Boff & Co Insurance Brokers Limited and B. Adedipe Associates Limited.

The experts noted that the industry had improved its capacity over time, but that a lot of insurance businesses in the country were still reinsured offshore.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Boff & Co Insurance Brokers, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja, called for increased capacity, regular staff training, investment in information and technology and regular engagement with stakeholders to grow the sector.

He said, “There is a need for increased capacity in the Nigerian insurance industry. When Boff & Co started special risk 25 years ago, we were taking about 70 per cent of our portfolio abroad; overtime, it reduced from 70 per cent to about 20 per cent and in the last six months, we had problems of finding excess capacity to insure abroad. I am proud to tell you that as of today, the businesses we did in the last three months were 100 per cent placed in Nigeria.

“The capacity is growing but we need to back it up with technical know-how, training and retraining of staff. Insurance industry should keep pace with the trend of events globally because insurance business is an international business.”

The Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates, Dr Biodun Adedipe, applauded insurance industry but said there were areas of improvement.

He said, “Nigeria still experiences insurance low penetration, and why? So, what next can the government do? Government also needs also to be responsible to its insurance obligations. It needs to promptly pay premium; there is also a need for flexibility and enforcement of necessary laws.

“If the government and its agencies are responsible, put more firmness into enforcement, then what we have today will change and the industry will create more value. And of course, when insurance sector is vibrant, it enables businesses and entrepreneurs to take risks which is part of the economic growth.”

On low insurance penetration in Nigeria, the economist said there was a need for operators to provide adequate information to policyholders and prospective insurance customers and clients. (Punch)

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