The National Insurance Commission has granted operational licences to six new insurance companies and one reinsurance company. The new companies are Heirs Insurance Limited (General); Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited; Heirs Life Assurance Limited; Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited; and FBS Reinsurance Limited, Salam Takaful and Cornerstone Insurance.
Interestingly, Takaful Insurance is based on Sharia Islamic principles, which focuses on providing protection for one another. It is reported that the companies policies predominantly cover health, life, and general insurance needs. That said, it has even launched an alternative plan for those in the commercial insurance industry, but it is believed to not be in line with Sharia principles.
The new National Insurance Commission boss Sunday Thomas told the media, “The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) received applications from the under listed companies for registration as Insurance and Reinsurance Companies to transact insurance and reinsurance business in Nigeria. In fulfilment of the statutory provisions of extant laws for the registration/licensing of insurance Companies, the general public is hereby informed that the Commission has commenced the process of registering the companies.”
Five years ago, a PwC survey had found that the country ranked 62 with a total premium volume of $1.64 billion. At the time, the penetration rate of insurance premiums was 0.7 percent of GDP. The report had stated that only 1.5 percent of the Nigerian adults had insurance coverage, with an average premium per capita of $9.4. However, the insurance industry in the country is evolving and has a strong market potential for foreign investors.