Implementation of certain technologies among other innovations are said to be the major drivers of insurance penetration in Nigeria. These are needed to attract more people to the sector, as only less than 1% of the nation’s population are patrons in the sector.

This was disclosed by the Group Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual West Africa, Mr. Samuel Ogbu, during a media briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

According to Ogbu, the company has been doing a lot of work and engagement to launch digital innovations to ensure it increases its subscriber base.

He said, “Like what happened in the banking industry, we are ready to drive same growth in the subscriber base of the company, as we are engaging regulators of the financial industry and some telecommunications firms to make purchase of our products.

“We want a situation both potential and existing clients will be able to pay for premium using USSD without necessarily filling hard copies of forms. We will soon make an announcement relating to this shortly.”

Meanwhile, Old Mutual Life Assurance and General Insurance, the Nigerian subsidiaries of Old Mutual Limited (OML), also reiterated its commitment to the Nigerian market with intent to maximizing the opportunities in the country’s insurance space.

The insurer, which also hinted about meeting the industry recapitalisation requirements set by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Nigerian insurance regulatory body, says it plans to drive insurance penetration in the country on the back of digital and tech innovations.

Ogbu explained that the step is confirmation of Old Mutual’s ongoing commitment to Nigeria’s financial sector and the Nigerian economy in general.

He said, “Having been in Nigeria for some years, Old Mutual is committed to playing an active, leading role in a revitalized Nigerian insurance industry. We are reshaping our business to truly reflect our brand in a market whose immense potential has still to be realized. We believe we have an important part to play in bringing better value and an enhanced experience to the Nigerian insurance and financial services consumer.

“With an enviable legacy value creation and service over 176 years and across many countries, Old Mutual has been a “certain friend in uncertain times” to individuals, businesses, and communities over generations through wars, pandemics, economic depression and political upheavals. We want to put the benefit of that accumulated experience and proven resilience to the service of Nigerian consumers.”

Olusegun Omosehin, the Managing Director, Life Assurance, Old Mutual Nigeria, said; “We are excited about the next decade of growth and innovation in Nigeria because we believe in the prospect of the insurance sector, especially with the various reforms and imminent introduction of the micro-insurance market through technology. This has inspired and accelerated our efforts to simplify and digitalise our end-to-end customer experience, making it more personalised and targeted, tech-enabled, fast, simple and responsive.”

In his remark, Mr. Olalekan Oyinlade, Managing Director, General Insurance, Old Mutual Nigeria, stated; “Insuring risks for businesses and industries is the most assuring tool for businesses to operate in today’s world of socio-economic uncertainties and the vagaries of the global financial climate.

“Therefore, it is sacrosanct that insurers consistently project a superior financial position to fulfil their role of restitution in moments of crisis. Old Mutual’s fulfilment of Nigeria’s insurance regulatory capital requirements demonstrates our firm commitment to our existing and prospective policyholders that our ability to manage their risks is an unshaken priority.”

What you should know about recapitalization

In 2019, NAICOM revised the guidelines for Life Insurance providers requiring a minimum capital of N8 billion by September 30, 2021, while General Insurers were required to meet a N10 billion capital base with composite insurers requiring an N18bn capital base.

Both Old Mutual’s Life and General businesses have achieved these minimum requirements ahead of the timeline, reflecting their commitment to the insurance industry in Nigeria.