Nigeria’s top insurers posted their highest profit in eight years in the first half of 2021, as the industry recovers from the COVID-19-induced lockdown that upended business activity last year.
BusinessDay’s analysis of the four largest listed insurance companies showed that AIICO Insurance, Axa Mansard Insurance, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and Nem Insurance posted a combined profit of N9.07 billion in June 2021, a 5 percent increase compared to N8.6 percent recorded last year.
The insurers saw their gross premium income jump 21 percent to N81.7 billion in the first half of 2020 compared to N67.7 billion in the same time last year.
The companies saw their gross premium written surge 20 percent to N96.3 billion in the first half of 2021 compared to N80.3 billion in the same period last year.
Gross premium written is the total premium both direct and assumed written by an insurer before deductions for reinsurance and ceding commissions.
AIICO Insurance Plc posted a 45 increase in profit to N3.46 billion compared to N2.38 billion in the periods under review. Its gross premium written also grew 18 percent to N37 billion from N31.4 billion in the same time last year.
AIICO’s gross premium income was N34.1 billion in H1 2021, a 19 percent increase to N34.1 billion last year.
Axa Mansard insurance saw a 36 percent decline in profit to N2.28 billion in H1 2021 compared to N3.6 billion in H1 2020. There was a 21.6 percent rise in its gross premium to N37.1 billion from N30.5 billion.
Axa posted a gross premium income of N25.9 billion in the first half of 2021 compared to N22.7 billion last year.
Consolidated Hallmark insurance posted a 47 percent surge in its profit to N436.4 million compared to N295.3 million in June 2020. The firm’s gross premium written grew 13 percent to N6 billion compared to N5.3 billion last year. Its gross premium income also rose 14 percent to N5.7 billion in H1 2021.
Nem Insurance saw a 29 percent rise in profit to N2 billion in H1 2021 compared to N1.56 billion in the same period last year. Nem’s gross premium written rose 24 percent to N16 billion compared to N12.9 billion recorded last year.
The firm’s gross premium income grew 35.7 percent to N15.2 billion in the first half of 2021 from N11.2 billion last year.
The impressive performance validates the improvement in new levels of business activities after the government relaxed the lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of a virus that ravaged the global economy.
Nigerian insurers were not left out of the deadly impact of the pandemic that undermined firms’ operations from sales and processes of insurance policies through claims processing.
Analysts attribute the growth in premium income in the last few years to gradual increase in acceptance of insurance at both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.