NAICOM tasks insurers on tech-drive investment

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has urged insurance operators to invest significantly in technology to drive efficient business operations in the industry.
This was the submission of the Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, at a conference in Lagos. He said insurers should make investments in technology as a matter of priority to deepen market penetration.

Thomas lamented that the declining participation of local insurers in big-ticket businesses due to lack of appropriate technology has been a major setback.
Worried by this development, he said, insurance companies are losing underwriting businesses in the oil/gas and aviation sectors.
He said “The industry has to invest handsomely in technology, which is one of the key drivers for developing the market. Institutions should prepare to digitalise their processes, procedures and systems to make their operation seamless and real-time.”
He stated that the commission was investing heavily in automating its processes and expects nothing less from insurance operators.
“As businesses spring up, we must ensure that we put the right processes in place in trying to manage assets and ensure that we have more strategic thinking,” he said.

Thomas noted that more businesses are being insured abroad, which further erodes the capacity of the local market.
He said: “More businesses especially in the aviation sector and oil and gas are now being reinsured abroad. Of more concern is the declining participation in the life companies in the annuity business which is the emerging business for our industry.
These are the areas where the industry can impose itself on the economy through the control of funds for national development; unfortunately, we are missing it.”

The commissioner advised the insured public not to discard insurance as part of measures to cut costs in the face of the harsh economic situation. “It is good to reduce cost but in terms of insurance, people should ensure that all assets are adequately insured.”
According to him.“It is good to have a good risk management framework to be able to manage insurances and assets. Many are left with the option of cutting cost, however, not all cost-cutting will measure success and some might even end up hurting our businesses.
Thomas makes bold to say that the insurance industry has proven its relevance in the affairs of the economy.
“Risk is part of our business endeavors and the best thing is to evaluate and see what part of the risk you can transfer”.
At various stakeholders’ meetings held across the country from last year till date, speakers had bemoaned the failure of operators and stakeholders to effectively deploy technological tools to boost patronage of insurance products by the public.

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