Expert advises NAICOM to boost insurance penetration through positive policies

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Mr. Chike Mokwunye, the Group Managing Director of Royal Exchange Insurance, has urged the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) tobdrive the sector’s growth through positive policies.
Mokwunye made the appeal in Lagos on Tuesday at the on-going 2015 Champion Insurance Conference.
He commended NAICOM for initiating Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) in 2009, but urged NAICOM to implement the initiative positively.
MDRI was introduced to increase insurance penetration from low insurance penetration to four percent by in 2012.
Mokwunye said this was not possible because the operators and the government needed to improve on the image of the sector to gain the confidence of the public.
“An appraisal of the success of the implementation of MDRI would reveal a low success in the achievement of the envisaged goals, especially in the enforcement of compulsory insurance.
“NAICOM needs to embark on positive approach to policy implementation that will attract more Nigerians to the industry, among others.
“A more positive approach should be adopted in the implementation of policies in order to avoid some unintended effects.
“For instance, the approach adopted in the implementation of the directive on deadline for the payment of claims before September 30, 2015 may have the unintended effect of eroding public confidence in the industry.
”NAICOM, instead, should have rolled out total claims paid by insurance firms before administering such directive,” he said.
Mokwunye said previous government policies, actions or inactions had not been favourable to the insurance sector.
“Over the years, the governments at all levels have failed to respect insurance laws, especially in insuring their assets.
”NAICOM revealed that the Federal Government released less than 10 percent of the N20 billion budgeted for insurance premium in 2014.
“Most state governments and other government agencies are yet to comply with the provisions of the law that mandate them to insure assets, group life and health.
“Government, therefore, presents a poor example to the public on the need for insurance,” he said.
Mrs Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, the Group Managing Director of Champion, promised to support insurance regulators to improve the image of the sector.
“Globally, the insurance market is dominated by developed economies consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States (USA).
“Collectively, they control about 65 percent of the world’s insurance premiums and account for only about 10 per cent of the world population.”
She said Nigeria would soon join these economies because Nigeria would boost Africa’s insurance penetration by 2016.
The conference had the theme, ‘Sustaining Insurance Growth Amidst Unfolding Mass Events’’. (NAN)

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