Only 2.48 million Nigerians and groups have life insurance policies, according to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
This figure excludes motor insurance, which already had 3.6million policyholders.
For an adult population of more than 100million Nigerians and millions of businesses entities, analysts believe the industry can indeed do better in terms of penetration and premium income. About two per cent of the adult population is said to have some form of insurance.
Speaking at the recent annual retreat for financial journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, the head, Corporate Communications & Market Devt, NAICOM, Mr. ‘Rasaaq Salami, said, about 1.33 million policies were held by individuals while there were 1.15million Corporate and non-individual policies.
This, he said, brought the total policies written to 2.48million as at the end of December, 2020, with expectation of a higher number of policies in the 2021 financial year.
Similarly, he stressed that, insurance industry recorded N508.2 billion gross premium income in 2019, N514.5 billion in 2020 while the industry pooled N630.3billion gross premium income in 2021 financial year, translating to a total of N1.65trillion in the last three years.
Disclosing that there is a gradual economic recovery from impact of COVID-19, ongoing reforms and improved visibility of the Nigerian Insurance Industry in the national scene.
On Public Building Liability Insurance Uptake, he said, the total number of policies across the federation as at 2021 was 8,246 policies, with Lagos having the highest number of building policies of 5,007.
Oyo state had 455 policies; FCT had 346; Kano with 344 policies; Rivers has 340 policies, among others.
There were reports of uptake in Borno, Kebbi, Taraba, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Plateau States in the North and group life insurance from Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna srates, he pointed out.
While low insurance penetration has been attributed to low awareness and low disposable income, the commissioner for insurance/CEO, National Insurance Commission(NAICOM), Mr. Sunday Thomas, had, on several occasions, implored insurance industry players to increase awareness and educate Nigerians on, majorly, the six compulsory insurances.
He believes proper awareness on the features and importance of these insurance policies will deepen insurance penetration and drive the revenue of the industry up.
However, while some underwriters are spending money on raising awareness level, some are reluctant to do so, with the mindset that more awareness could lead to increased claims that may jeopardize their balance sheet.
Speaking on deepening insurance awareness and education, the chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association(NIA), Mr. Ganiyu Musa, said, the association has embarked on series of insurance awareness campaign in print and broadcast while some individual companies are doing same, in a bid to increase insurance awareness and adoption in the country.
Musa, who is also the group managing director/CEO, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, urged Nigerians to insure their assets and lives, promising that insurance operators will always pay genuine claims just as the industry has improved over time in the area of claims payment.
“The association will continue to emphasize the need for insurance companies to pay all genuine insurance claims and will not hesitate to sanction erring member companies,” he pointed out.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP, the executive secretary/CEO, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr. Tope Adaramola, acknowledged that insurance companies as well as brokers still need to do more to increase awareness of insurance, stating that, his association through , its six area committees, have been doing a lot in this regards, although, it could be better.
He said the ultimate of insurance is peace of mind, adding that,
Insurance companies as risk buyer, will always return back the insured to the financial position he was, prior to the occurrence of the insurable risks, urging people to use the tool of insurance to replace their assets.