By Rukayat Adeyemi
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Friday warned insurance operators against dealing with unlicensed brokers and agents to facilitate insurance businesses.
Mrs Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, Chairman, Sub-Committee on Publicity of the Insurers Committee,said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the committee’s meeting in Lagos.
Nwachukwu, also Managing Director of Royal Exchange General Insurance, stated that NAICOM observed the practice during the ongoing Risk Based Supervision(RBS) in some insurance companies.
“The regulator spoke to us very strongly, to ensure that all the agents and brokers we deal with are licensed up-to-date or renewed, as against doing business with brokers with expired licences or unregistered agents.”,she said.
According to her, NAICOM also recommended self regulation to underwriters, regarding RBS.
The sub-committee chairman disclosed that NAICOM directed that boards of the various underwriting firms should approve and implement whistle blowing policy in their respective companies.
Nwachukwu said the committee also agreed on the need for the insurance industry to increase awareness on annuity and continue to build trust to ensure that the product line grows significantly.
“With the amount of fund in the pension industry, we should expect a lot of that to be downloaded into the insurance industry through annuity,” she said.
The sub-committee chairman revealed that NAICOM also expressed concern over the backlog of unpaid claims and charged the defaulting insurers to settle all outstanding claims as soon as possible.
She said that the committee resolved that the unpaid claims should be publicised on the platform of the Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) for first three months to encourage those with lodged claims to come for it.
“After the three months and we see that the impact is still outstanding, companies may be mandated to do own publicity.
“A lot of unpaid claims have been reported, but supporting documents were not provided, and as such they remain as outstanding claims for so many years,”she said.
According to her, the insurance operators further discussed the need for NAICOM to continue to engage the National Assembly to ensure the passage of Consolidated Insurance Bill .
Nwachukwu noted that insurers had also begun the process of harmonising the ECOWAS Brown Card to ensure that the same certificate is issued across all countries using the brown card.
She said the insurers also took a presentation from KPMG, as part of its planning for the insurance industry’s 10 years Transformation Roadmap.
According to the managing director, eight pillars were proposed to the insurance industry as part of the roadmap, which include: continuous improvement of the regulatory environment.
Nwachukwu said as part of the proposal, Risk Based pricing and Risk Based capital would become paramount.
She stated that increased awareness and improvement in market conduct and ethics was proposed as part of the transformational roadmap to the future that the industry desires.
The sub-committee chairman said that the presentation also suggested more partnership with non-insurers players, just as it is done in the banking industry.
She stated that the insurers were charged on digitalization and improvement of talents pool of the insurance sector and supporting national economic growth plan. (NAN)