BusinessDay

NAICOM partners FSD Africa on digital solutions for insurance industry

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has partnered FSD Africa to launch the BimaLab accelerator program designed to boost the development and adoption of digital solutions for the Nigerian insurance sector.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the program on Wednesday, Thomas Olorundare Sunday, CEO, NAICOM said that the need to adopt technology as a key driver of change in the financial sector cannot be overemphasized adding that innovation has led to immeasurable efficiency and gains.

BimaLab Nigeria aims to address gaps in the insurance market by educating, nurturing and promoting innovators and Insurtech start-ups.

He said, “Even though embracing changes can sometimes be accompanied by uncertainty and hesitation, there is evidence of great success.

“I have no doubt that with such collaborations, Nigeria is set to be a successful case study on insurance innovation across the continent.”

The program is expected to be a replica of Kenya’s BimaLab I, BimaLab II and global best practices with a focus on local experience to provide Nigeria with the most competitive and attractive start-up accelerator program.

Accordingly, ten companies will be selected to participate in the ten-week program that will provide them with the expertise, resources, and support to develop and scale market-ready solutions that bring social and/or commercial value to Nigeria’s insurance sector.

Read also: #EndSARS claims top N11bn as insurance awareness grows

In his remark, Kelvin Massingham, director – risk and resilience, FSD Africa said that the program will enhance the development of a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups, through collaboration with corporate partners, investors and research institutions to accelerate and scale innovation in the insurance industry in Nigeria.

He said, “We believe that this program will enhance the development of a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups; through collaboration with corporate partners, investors and research institutions to accelerate and scale innovation in the insurance industry in Nigeria. We have successfully implemented the program in Kenya, and are commencing the same in Ghana.

“To widen insurance coverage, FSD Africa has recently rolled out a similar accelerator program in Ghana (InnoLab). The solutions being supported through the accelerator programs will be expected to also speak to the needs of populations beyond their borders of origination.

Among the success stories from previous BimaLab Accelerator programs include Bismart, a Kenyan insurance agency that has partnered with Britam to launch a short-term school fees insurance cover called Elimu Smart. The cover protects school-going children from dropping out of school in the event their parent or guardian becomes critically ill or dies, safeguarding the future of the children even in cases of incidents.

Ben Llewellyn-Jones, UK’s Deputy High Commissioner, explained that as a result of Covid-19’s negative impact and the resulting need for improved resilience against economic shocks, innovative insurance becomes increasingly important in addressing emerging vulnerabilities among businesses and households.

According to him, the UK government has long been enthusiastic about leveraging technology and innovation as major vehicles for making an impact and supporting the Nigerian government. “So the partnership between UK Aid funded FSD Africa and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is crucial in fostering the development of an Insurtech ecosystem that focuses on growth, inclusion, and strategic alliances.”

Applications for BimaLab Nigeria are now open on https://bimalab-nigeria.azurewebsites.net/. The deadline for submission is 23 February 2022.

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