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Houston visit opens Nigerian insurer’s eyes on cost reduction to boost profitability


Houston Insurance Industry, a major insurance market in the United States of America operates a near paperless process, which help operating firms reduce cost of operation. This is a typical advanced market in the underwriting industry, which Nigeria believes could be emulated to enhance efficiency and service delivery to customers.

Eddie Efekoha, managing director/CEO, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc and president, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) said in Lagos during a media parley that the industry have something to learn from the Houston Market.

Efekoha after leading a delegation of key players in the insurance industry for an International Executive Programme in the United States said it’s important that local insurance firms consider running a paperless operation.

Efekoha said, this approach will not only enhance efficiency, it will reduce management expenses of firms, which is a major concern for the industry.

He explained that the institute had in the past visited countries that had a more advanced insurance market than Nigeria, under an exchange programme.

He said they decided to change the name of the exchange programme to International Executive Programme because there has never been an exchange per-se; rather we go to the countries to gather knowledge.

He disclosed that the structure of Houston market is a little different but developed and advanced, noting that technology is advance and they have used it to drive the business.

 “We decide to go to Houston being a major insurance market in the US and also the centre for oil insurance, knowing that a lot of oil activities take place there”

“We visited companies that are paperless in Houston insurance market and in fact, since we came back with that mindset, we are looking at changing things. When you come here in Nigeria you will see people with just a laptop, an ipad and his phone, but over there a staff has more than three monitors that he can work on at the same time and with this they are able to carry out an efficient system. “We learnt other couple of things that they do as well. The takeaways for us will vary with individuals but it has broadened our view and network to get better with the work we do.”

Efekoha said the only regret was that the regulator was not part of the delegation, as their presence would have enable regulatory buy-in to some of the innovations they saw.

He said efforts would be made to ensure that the regulator participants in future International Executive Programmes so that everyone will be on the same page to drive process.


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