BusinessDay

‘We have consistently delivered on safeguarding financial prosperity of our customers’

FBNInsurance is a leading player in the nation’s insurance industry safeguarding wealth of its customers and creating value for her esteemed stakeholders. Val Ojumah, managing director/CEO in this interview outlined achievements of the company, what makes it a leader and contributions to the Nigerian economy. Excerpt:

The nation’s insurance industry has played a major role in bringing stability to the Nigerian economy particularly after the EndSARS protest that rocked the country in 2020. As a leading player in the industry, what is your take on this?

The role of Insurance to the growth and development of any economy cannot be overemphasised. In fact, insurance remains a major economic driver, providing support for the various sectors of the economy. However, in Nigeria, going by the current statistics and data, one can say that the opportunities within Nigeria’s insurance industry remain enormous.

Industry report places Nigeria’s Insurance penetration at less than 1 percent, and much lower for our contribution to global premium. This is a far cry when compared to global average performance and African counterparts like South-Africa, Kenya and Morocco.

However, the EndSARS protest in 2020 seemed to have raised awareness among Nigerians on the importance and need for insurance, thereby leading to growth in gross premium pay-outs and participation in insurance. This has also opened up the market to innovation and stronger collaboration between insurance companies, customers and other stakeholders.

Therefore, speaking to stability, we could say that the Nigerian Insurance industry has contributed to economic stability given the role played in restoring affected businesses and individuals back on their feet after the EndSARS protest.

Beyond the above, how has the industry again been able to contribute to economic development looking at infrastructure development as well as job creation?

Insurance companies often act as first responders when disaster strikes, trying to restore individuals and the society back to normalcy after a major catastrophe. The role of insurance companies during the EndSARS protest is a case in point.

Several businesses would have gone under but for the intervention of their insurers. Reports state that about N11 billion was paid out in claims post EndSARS. Such intervention helps to sustain economic and infrastructural development.

Furthermore, the insurance industry provides the needed financial stability and security by ensuring that losses are adequately compensated for. By doing this they promote faster economic recovery and growth. Beneficiaries and claimants make claims and insurers pay it.

Also, looking at the role of insurance companies as risk mitigants, insurers continually create avenues and communication to educate and enlighten their target audience on possible risks whilst providing the right buffer in the event of an occurrence.

As the world continues to evolve, especially in the advancement of technology, trade, commerce and other socio-economic activities, risk also grows. The insurance industry remains that institution that tries to ensure minimal economic disruption by providing the right policy cover.

This also requires that the right resources are in place to deliver to the promise made to the consumer across board from inception to claims. With this insurance continues to drive demand for the labour market. Also, the expected growth in Nigeria’s insurance industry also suggests that the industry possesses great potential for higher job creation in the days ahead.

When it comes to job creation, FBN Insurance has been in the forefront. In the past one year, for example, we opened four new sales offices in addition to the 64 we had. These branches are manned by qualified men and women with a corresponding growth in our agency structure.

Speaking specifically on infrastructural development, the insurance industry is a major provider of finance for developmental purposes. This comes from the accumulation of funds from premiums received and investment of such funds into various development projects across various aspects of our society.

A very good example that has remained impactful is the NICON NOGA Hilton Hotel (now Transcorp Hilton), Abuja. This has remained the largest hotel in Abuja over the last 30years.

Your Company has been listed as a ‘Leading Player In The Nigerian Insurance Industry’, what makes you a leader looking at year contributions to premium growth, claims payment, achievements and other areas you have influenced the market?

We established our brand as a retail-focused company targeting the underserved insurance segment. We rigorously followed through on our plan to provide insurance protection to people who mostly are first-time buyers of insurance or knew little to nothing about insurance. We have consistently delivered on our mandate to safeguard the financial prosperity of our customers, while sustainably delivering value to all stakeholders.

Fully focused on our mission, we have earned the trust of our numerous customers leading to impressive performance such as annual growth on premium (outperforming industry averages for the last 5-yrs), claims payment, and profit before tax, consistently ranking as the most profitable insurance company in the country for the last 5yrs.

We are also the recipient of several achievements such as Best Life Insurance Company in Nigeria by World Finance Award (2014, 2016, 2017, 2019 & 2020), Best Insurance Company in Africa by African Insurance Awards (2018), Fastest Growing Insurance Company by NAIPCO (2017), amongst others.

Why should the insuring public continue to do business with you, looking at service delivery, capacity and operational structure?

We are one of the youngest but most profitable life insurers in Nigeria with a long-standing history of consistent claims payment. We have grown astronomically in just 12 years to become one of the leading firms around.

Professional and experienced staff:

The company has always hired skilled and experienced staff overtime who consistently demonstrate the company core values. We are also equipped with the best set of personnel that ensures prompt service delivery.

Automated processes

Our end-to-end processes are automated with best-in-industry technology that guarantees swift turnaround time. We just recently acquired a new software that will further ensure better customer experience and improved service delivery.

Prompt service delivery:

Our service delivery is prompt, and we also ensure that we meet our customers needs in a varied manner that guarantees greater satisfaction. This has led to enormous increase in our client base over the last five years.

Strong capital base

We have the required capital base which is multiples above the minimum requirement, therefore, we can also say that we have more than enough capital to meet up with any future recapitalisation requirement that might take place in the industry. We meet our clients needs very promptly as our retention capacity (which reflects our ability to meet all stakeholders need) is one of the highest in the industry.

Returns on investment (shareholder dividend)

In the last 10 years we have declared quality dividends to our shareholders, unmatched competitors in the industry.

Ownership-Sanlam group number one insurance company in Africa

We are a member of Africa’s largest non-banking group, SANLAM and in alliance with one of the biggest Banks in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.

Operational structure

Our operations are well structured to meet and exceed customer’s expectations. With over three thousand sales professionals across Nigeria, our customers are well guided on making informed decisions about our products and services.

Read also: Are effects of floods covered in car insurance?

Flexible products:

FBN Insurance has an array of sophisticated products, services and initiatives specially designed to meet the needs of our retail and corporate customers. These products are spread across Life and General insurance aimed at covering a wide array of consumer needs and protection such as Flexiedu, Sabi savers, Flexisave, Flexicash, Group life insurance, Family shield plan, Retirement plan, Smart protection plan.

Also, customers can choose from any of our general insurance plans such as the Burglary protection plan, Auto insurance, Fire and Special perils plan, Flexi Guard and much more. Details of all of these and more can be found on our website. www.fbninsurance.com and www.fbngeneralinsurance.com

National Coverage

We have sales outlets in all the states of the federation, this has enabled our customers reach out to us seamlessly.

Our Values

Our core values being respect for individuals, integrity, innovation, sustainability and customer centricity has helped in shaping our operations over the years. We do what we say we will do.

The business of insurance relies on promises made and kept. Insurance is a contract built on promises and the fulfilment of those promises when risks crystallize. We can be trusted to fulfil our promises to our customers and clients.

We remain one of the highest claims paying insurance companies in the country. That for us, is a clear commitment to our policyholders all over the country. These and more are why FBN Insurance remains an insurance company of first choice.

What is your growth projection in the next five years, and where do you see this industry at that time?

As a leading player in the industry, we have an aggressive growth aspiration of being the first-choice insurer in financial security and wealth creation in Nigeria. We are steadily deepening our footprints in the Nigerian economy as we embark on the journey of providing affordable insurance protection to the teeming Nigerian population.

Our outlook for the next 5 years is underpinned by the investments we are making in developing new and novel distribution models, and enhancing the overall customer experience through technology.

We see our business attaining a 5 year cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 45 percent, far outpacing envisaged industry growth rate in that period.

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