The National Insurance Commission has set out the way forward for the insurance industry, embrace a new approach that cushions the aftermaths of Covid-19, experience a robust regulator that feels the concerns of the operators and equally ready and firm with oversights and grand protection of consumers all in the direction of forward thrust.
In his assembly of “Strategies Aimed at Cushioning the Effects of the Covid-19 on the Operations of the Nigerian Insurance Industry and the way Forward,” which was presented today at The 2022 Business Outlook Seminar by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, the Commissioner for Insurance Mr Sunday O. Thomas, noted that the pandemic has leveraged and strengthened remote access management policy and procedures, bringing a new shift for all human endeavours. At the level of digital capacity he stated this has nurtured quickly the need to reinforce cyber protections against cyber criminals and tame their onslaughts against companies data and remotely working. Besides, there is the need for issuance of ICT standards for the industry.
Thomas noted that the insurance industry has become more visible since the pandemic, earning the commendation of President Mohammadu Buhari for supporting the efforts to contain the Covid-19 but needed to do more in its role in reducing vulnerabilities in all risks. Besides, he said the Commission has a stake in the stability of the industry and has not lost focus of this leading to some policies and programmes wearing relaxed tags. This seen seen in the extension of the recapitalisation exercise, transition to risk based supervisory regime, postponement of IFRS 17 commencement date, and regulatory forbearance.
He said the regulator has responsibility to strengthen regulatory oversight and risk management and also implement effective policyholder protection schemes which involves improved enforcement of market conduct rules and also monitor degree of customer satisfaction and enhance insurance education.
NAICOM boss said the Commission has scaled up its project e-Regulation and has moved up more steps market development with the current collaborative model international and local stakeholders.
He rolled out ten point team with no preference that works together to launch forward, which includes risk based capital approach, and on this the Commission and the Nigerian Insurers Association are set for joint accomplishment. Other endorsements are, standardisation of reports, enhanced investment in digital capabilities and automation, entrenched effective asset liability management, and capacity development programmes- actuarial, competency framework and having in place reinforced recovery and resolution plan.
Other nuggets that will sustain the way forward Thomas said are, use of modelling for risk assessment and stress testing, context specific products such as loss of job insurance products, cyber insurance policy by trustees of customers data he said, has become more compelling and also stricken for regional integration is the establishment of the College of Insurance Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone (CISWAMZ)
The president /chairman, CIIN council, Sir Dr Muftau Oyegunle said the forum has become a feed stock for the industry to upgrade its operations and the institute remained committed to it.
The resource person Dr Olademeji Alo, managing director at Excel Professional Service, said the country has boundless untapped insurance market and this is attested by the foreign league of investors in the country, he therefore advised the operators to make claims paid a public display, and do more in offering retail products.
Anther resource person and CEO, United Capital Plc, Peter Ashade, speaking on the topic, “Insurance Perspective of the Theme Paper,” urged operators to embrace oil sector risks, noting that the impending Petroleum Industry Act is a platform for opportunities. He said opportunities also abound in agricultural insurance. On the brim he said is the need for proper management of data noting that “the quality of your decision making is driven by the quality of your data.”