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NAICOM Unveils Three-Years Strategic Reforms for Insurance Sector

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) said it has rolled out three-years strategic reforms (2021-2023) that will see the transformation of the insurance sector.

The commission said the starting point of the reform was to return operating firms to liquidity status by ensuring that they restructure their balance sheets so that those that currently rely on assets that they can hardly turn to cash would effect a major turnaround in their operations and run their business based on cash flow instead of fixed assets.

The commission said it has already started this through expert advice on owners of various insurance firms who have in the past exceeded the maximum level of investment in real estate and are now facing a cash crunch and could not easily turn their assets to cash to keep afloat in business.

It further said it is strictly guiding operators to ensure that going forward none exceeds the 25 percent maximum investment in the real estate sector.

NAICOM Director of Supervision, Mr. Thompson Barineka, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thompson, at a media retreat organised by the regulator in Lagos at the weekend, revealed these.

He observed that most of the firms currently regarded as weak are not actually weak in the real sense of it considering the value of assets they have mainly in the real estate sector.

He said their actual problem is their inability to quickly turn those assets into cash and continue to discharge their responsibilities to the public.

Thomas said this being the case, the commission, having accomplished the five-year strategic plans it had set for itself, is now embarking on a three-year reform aimed at positioning the commission as a global competitive regulator whose functions are compliant with global best practices and whose supervisory roles enthrone the regime of strong, viable and virile insurance institutions strong enough to carry the risks of other economic operators and meet the prevailing needs of the insuring public.

The reforms according to Thomas rests on five strong pillars namely: entrenching effective and efficient service delivery; ensuring safe, sound and stable insurance sector; adequately protecting policyholders and public interest; improving trust and confidence in the insurance sector; encouraging innovation, and promotion of insurance market development.

According to him, the reform also gears towards ensuring absolute trust on the commission through its promotion of insurance market development tailored towards improving the scope of internal rule-base to a new risk-based supervision approach using its new integrated governance management system.

Thomas, who was appointed as commissioner for insurance one year ago, noted that he initiated the reforms considering the fact that since the development of the last strategic plan which lasted between 2016 – 2020, there have been various events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the #EndSARS protests, and the rise in kidnappings, armed banditry, communal tensions and conflicts, which have impacted on the activities and initiatives of the commission.

According to him, these events have ushered in the new normal hence shaping how the industry conducts its business going forward and the corresponding regulatory response.

He said this has also created the need to prepare the workforce for the new work order, protection of policyholders, improving human capital, leveraging on technology and creating alternative channels of insurance distribution to stimulate productivity. He said NAICOM would also ensure periodic review and performance monitoring of the plan within its life span bearing in mind the pandemic.

He said a flashback on the state of the insurance sector before he took over the leadership and its current state would show that within the one-year period, stability has been achieved within the commission and the entire industry with staff welfare at the front burner.

He said within the one-year period, his administration has been able to issue licenses to five insurance firms in the category of three life insurance, one general insurance and one reinsurance operator.
He said before his tenure, the last reinsurance firm licensed in the country was 32 years ago while the last insurance firm was licensed ten years ago.

He said in line with the three-year strategic reforms, his administration saw the need to bring in new life insurance operators because, in today’s economy, one area driving the flow of funds to the industry is life business.

“Why South Africa is dominating insurance market in Africa is because of its strength in the life insurance business. Today in Nigeria, the contributory pension asset is in the neighborhood of over N12 trillion, it is expected that some of these funds will find their way to the insurance sector but at present, insurers are still scratching business on the surface,” he added.

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Cornerstone Insurance PLC Announces Delay in Filing Q2 2024 Financial Statements

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Cornerstone Insurance PLC, a prominent player in Nigeria’s insurance sector, has informed shareholders and stakeholders about a delay in filing its Unaudited Financial Statements for the second quarter (Q2) of 2024.

This delay, as disclosed by the company, stems from unforeseen challenges related to the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 17.

The company, in a statement released today, cited that the introduction of IFRS 17 Accounting Standards necessitated significant changes in reporting methods.

These changes, in turn, disrupted the audit process and consequently delayed the preparation of the Q2 Unaudited Accounts.

Cornerstone Insurance PLC’s Audited Accounts and Financial Statements for the year ended December 31st, 2023, have already been filed and approved by the regulatory bodies.

However, the transition to IFRS 17 has posed unexpected hurdles, causing setbacks in the timely preparation of subsequent financial reports.

In response to the delay, Cornerstone Insurance PLC has sought and obtained approval from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to extend the deadline for filing its Q2 Unaudited Financial Statements.

The company expressed regret over the inconvenience caused by this delay but assured stakeholders of its commitment to ensuring the submission and publication of the Q2 Financial Statements by August 31st, 2024.

The delay announcement comes amid efforts by regulatory authorities to enhance financial reporting standards across Nigeria’s corporate landscape.

Cornerstone Insurance PLC remains dedicated to meeting regulatory obligations while maintaining transparency and accountability in its financial disclosures.

Investors and stakeholders are advised to monitor further updates from Cornerstone Insurance PLC as the company works diligently to finalize its Q2 2024 financial reporting process.

For more information and updates, shareholders can visit Cornerstone Insurance PLC’s official website or contact the company’s investor relations department directly.

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Sanlam to Acquire 60% Stake in MultiChoice’s Insurance Arm for R1.2bn

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South African insurance giant Sanlam Limited has announced plans to acquire a 60% stake in NMS Insurance Services (NMSIS), the insurance subsidiary of pay TV operator MultiChoice Group, for R1.2 billion.

This strategic acquisition aims to enhance Sanlam’s footprint in the African insurance market and leverage MultiChoice’s extensive subscriber base across the continent.

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, both companies revealed that the deal includes a long-term commercial arrangement designed to expand insurance and related financial services to MultiChoice’s diverse audience.

The transaction also features a performance-based cash earn-out potential of up to R1.5 billion, contingent upon the gross written premium generated by NMSIS by the end of 2026.

Paul Hanratty, CEO of Sanlam Group, expressed optimism about the acquisition, stating, “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to combine our market presence and technological capabilities, fostering growth and market penetration while creating synergies beneficial to all stakeholders.”

Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, highlighted the strategic significance of the collaboration, noting, “This deal not only enhances the value we provide to our subscribers but also taps into Sanlam’s expertise to drive innovation and growth in our insurance offerings across Africa. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams.”

NMSIS has shown impressive growth, with gross written premiums increasing by 36% year-on-year and profit after tax rising by 51% in the first quarter of 2024.

MultiChoice plans to use the proceeds from the sale for working capital while retaining a 40% interest in NMSIS.

The move comes as MultiChoice faces economic challenges, including a 13% drop in subscribers in key markets such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, and Zambia due to economic hardships and currency devaluations.

Despite these setbacks, the partnership with Sanlam is seen as a strategic step to bolster its financial services offerings and stabilize revenue streams.

The announcement also follows recent regulatory developments, with MultiChoice entering a Cooperation Agreement with Groupe Canal+ SA after Canal+ acquired a 45.20% stake in MultiChoice, necessitating a mandatory offer under South African takeover regulations.

As the African insurance market continues to grow, Sanlam’s acquisition of a significant stake in NMSIS positions both companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities, providing innovative insurance solutions to millions of customers across the continent.

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Heirs Insurance Group Unveils Revolutionary Website for Seamless Insurance Experience

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Heirs Life Assurance- Investors King

Heirs Insurance Group has launched a website designed to revolutionize the insurance experience for its customers.

With a focus on simplicity, accessibility, and personalized service, the new website aims to streamline the process of obtaining insurance coverage and empower customers to make informed decisions about their insurance needs.

The website boasts a range of innovative features that make navigating insurance options easier than ever before.

From simple and intuitive navigation menus to personalized insurance recommendations, the website is designed to guide customers through every step of the insurance process quickly and efficiently.

According to Ifesinachi Okpagu, the Chief Marketing Officer of Heirs Insurance Group, the new website embodies the company’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.

“Today’s customers want simplicity, and this new website delivers on that request,” Okpagu said. “We are empowering customers to take control of their lives, their businesses, assets, and their most cherished people.”

One of the key features of the website is its personalized insurance experience, which takes customers through a short journey to help them identify the best insurance plan for their needs.

Whether customers are looking for coverage for their home, car, business, or loved ones, the website provides tailored recommendations to ensure they find the right insurance solution quickly and easily.

With its user-friendly interface and innovative features, the new website from Heirs Insurance Group sets a new standard for the insurance industry, making it easier than ever for customers to protect what matters most to them.

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