The numerous challenges confronting the nation’s insurance industry because of dearth of statistical data on industry operations and individual companies’ activities is expected to be over soon, as market awaits a consolidated industry data base.
The step will ensure that companies and operations of the industry are coordinated online real-time where it would be possible to generate substantial data on activities of the sector more easily and faster.
As disclosed by the National Insurance Commission in 2013, stakeholders were working with a South African based IT firm to come out with a system that will make operation functional before the end of first quarter.
The system will require that all insurance companies in the market including underwriters, brokers and the reinsurers will compulsorily hook up to the central portal that will be managed by the NAICOM, such that activities of all players can be monitored from unit.
Director Research Strategy and Information Technology, NAICOM, Adamu Balanti, said the policy would make it compulsory for all operators to have a standard information and technology platform, stressing that NAICOM is working assiduously to build robust information and technology platform that would enhance regulatory efficiency.
He said the draft document for the policy has been made and that very soon a committee will be set up to consider it.
“That document would ensure that we have a minimum standard for everybody. In fact, the draft for the policy has been done, every soon, we would form industry committee that would look at that, harmonise it and take input to produce the final copy,” he said.
Sunday Thomas, director general of the NIA who confirmed to Business Day in an exlusive interview said this will be the focus of the industry in the New Year.
He stated that before the end of the first quarter, the process of transformation to the new industry portal will be concluded, and data generation that has been a problem would have become outdated.
According to him, this has become necessary to move the insurance industry in Nigeria forward as dearth of data has been a major drawback for the industry.
Thomas noted that if data is available issues bothering on rate cutting would be deemphasised because all the cards will be laid on the table, nobody need to be persuaded to do the right things when it’s obvious that there is real price for any action taking. The market I can confirm to you will become more self regulatory and efficiently competitive.
Chris Ikiebe, investment manager of one of the insurance companies said it will be a welcome development for the insurance, stating that lack of adequate data on companies and early enough does not help planning and investment decision.
He said that for instance in other markets like Ghana, companies’ performance and sector analysis are usually available at the end of every quarter and this has made it easier for individual companies and other stakeholders for purposes of decision and investments.
“By the process, the industry would have begun a frantic effort to address the issue of double insurance, a situation where a particular risk said motor is insured more than once, a process implying defrauding the industry; issues of rate cutting; non-payment of claims as well as policy loss history.
Besides, it will form a framework for the industry regulator to monitor the activities of companies at any given time to check such activities that does not augur well with her policy direction, Ikiebe said.
By: Modestus Anaesoronye