The Nigeria insurance industry pushed further its performance in 2019, with a modest outcome of 15.55% as insurance operators earned a combined N490b premium income as against previous figures of N413bn.
The increase was against the backdrop of new and sustained challenges in the economy that pushed up the GDP marginally from 1.9% to 2.3%.
Growth in the economy where insurance could have earned premium income were remarkable in transport, oil and information and communication technology.
The agriculture sector that was inching up two years before 2019, took a hit from herdsmen with the reckless attack on farmers and communities.
The NIA chairman’s comment traditionally read by the out-going chairman in election year, captured the mood in the agriculture sector; “the agriculture sector was severely affected due to sporadic flooding and conflicts between herdsmen and local farmers.”
Another sector the insurance industry had expected to push up in performance but was not so was manufacturing. It did not pull-in premium as it should because, “manufacturing continues to suffer from lack of financing from the banks.”
However, the middle class a new and fairly sustained premium income pouch, put up a good signal “as household consumption remains key driver of growth in 2019, reinforcing its 11% contribution to real GDP growth in 2018.”
The happenings in the larger economy created a shot-put performance that dropped income. However, the insurance industry in conjunction with other stakeholders embarked on various initiatives. These are: financial inclusion, micro insurance, the insurance industry rebranding project, the associations USSD initiative and the Nigeria Insurance Industry Database platform. The later is for the sale of third part motor insurance coupled with other strategic efforts by the regulator, which Tope Smart, MD/CEO NEM insurance said, would “further deepen insurance penetration and encourage insurance uptake by the public.