The Federal Government approved the reopening of Osubi Airport, Warri, Delta State for daylight operations on Monday.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, via his Twitter handle on Monday.

According to him, the facility will be opened for operations in daylight in VFR conditions, while observing COVID-19 protocols.

He tweeted, “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in Visual Flight rules (VFR) conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”

VFR are a set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.

It will be recalled that the Airport, which was commissioned on 17th April 1999 by the former Minister of Aviation, Captain Briggs, is managed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

In 2020, the Federal Government, in a letter to all the aviation parastatals, had allegedly terminated the contract of Shoreline Oil Services Limited, the operator of the airport, with immediate effect, citing incompetence.

The facility has been a subject of controversy since it changed hands from the original owner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Shoreline in partnership with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2015.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja has been awarded the Airport Service Quality Award 2020 as judged by their customers as the Best Airport by Size and Region (five million to 15 million passengers per year in Africa).

This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Henrietta Yakubu, in a statement on Monday.

Yakubu said: “This award represents the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria commitment to continuously improving customer experience across all our airports
The recognition comes at a time when we are geared towards ensuring seamless airport facilitation with the opening of new terminals and upgrading of our current infrastructures across board.

Despite a turbulent year plagued by COVID-19 induced financial struggles, the authority has endeavored to prioritize customer satisfaction while ensuring that health and safety remains topmost.

“FAAN MD/CEO Captain Rabiu Yadudu accepted the award on behalf of the Authority and restated FAAN’s commitment to ensuring the safety, security and comfort of passengers at all airports across the country.”

Favour Nnabugwu

The West African Insurance Companies Association Reinsurance, Waica Re, is set to hold its maiden edition of the annual corporate social responsibility competition in Nigeria and seven other countries.

With the theme “Practical solutions to natural disasters in West Africa”,  WAICA Re mentioned that the company is launching several other CSR projects in the countries where it operates in these seven countries- Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Kenya.

The reinsurer is committed to improving training conditions in the insurance sector.

The competition is an opportunity for insurance professionals to propose solutions to the natural disaster-related issues in their respective countries.

Five judges will be in charge of selecting the three winners. The top-ranked candidate will be designated Waica Re (WRA) Ambassador for one year.

The WRA will receive a prize of 5 000 USD. The second and third place nominees will receive 2 000 USD and 1 000 USD respectively. The award ceremony shall be held in August 2021.

The Implementation of the proposal is required not to exceed 100 000 USD and is to be completed within one

By admin

With the growing number of companies entering the takaful market, the Islamic insurance sector is expected to expand to $44bn in the next three years, expanding at a CAGR of 12.8 percent during 2019-2024, accoring to an industry expert.

Takaful insurance companies serve as an alternative to commercial insurance companies as the latter violate the restrictions on interest, uncertainty and gambling principles which are outlawed in sharia. Recently, there has been a rise in the number of institutions that offer Islamic financial services which have aided in the expansion of takaful across the globe.

Countries in South East Asia have implemented the Life Insurance and Family Takaful (LIFE) Framework which is expected to spur various market activities and enhance the sustainability of the takaful industry in the longer run. Apart from this, there has been a rise in the awareness among Muslims regarding the monetary benefits offered by takaful insurance.

This has encouraged foreign insurance companies to collaborate with takaful insurance companies, in turn, expanding their worldwide market reach. Moreover, the demand for takaful insurance products is also rising amongst the non-Muslim consumers as it is an ethical investment policy, with strong growth prospects and price competitiveness.

Despite these growth-inducing factors, the global takaful market is being impeded by the current inability of insurers to retain consumers

Speaking during a webinar hosted by Doha-based SEIB Insurance and Reinsurance on the Islamic insurance sector, Dr Mazen Abou Chakra, managing director of Gen Re Life and Health in MENA and the East Mediterranean region, said that the annual gross written contribution in 2020 was around $21bn worldwide. He added that the industry is projected to grow to $44bn by 2024, reported the newspaper The Peninsula.

Dr Mazen said takaful markets are mainly in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which together command around 80% of global takaful assets.

Another industry expert, Nohra Chaghouri, said, “In the mid-1990’s, there were only seven takaful companies in Sudan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan, and in 2016, this number increased to around 300 takaful companies.”

By admin
The global travel insurance market size was valued at $19.2 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $39.3 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 17.4 percent from 2020 to 2027.
The market is evaluated based on its regional penetration, explaining the performance of the market in each regional market covering provinces such as North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia), Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa).
The key players operating in the global travel insurance industry include Allianz Group, American International Group Inc., Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A, AXA, Insure & Go Insurance Services Limited, Seven Corners Inc., Travel Insured International, Travel Safe Insurance, USI Insurance Services, and Zurich Insurance Co. Limited.
Several intermediaries in distribution channel such as insurance aggregators, banks, insurance brokers providing consumers with various options to compare products and prices, suggest suitable policies, and others. In addition, travel insurance providers offer different plans by covering costs and losses depending on coverages in the policy.
Convenient options provided to the consumers for travel insurance purchases via online comparison-shopping sites such as direct airline sites and online travel agencies (OTAs), company websites & applications, and others fuel the travel insurance market growth.
In addition, rise in tourism due to increase in disposable income, easy online travel bookings, package holidays, extensive coverage of holidays, and others also drive the market growth.
Moreover, increase in tourism led to several incidences such as trip cancellations, loss of luggage & important documents, medical emergencies, and others take place. To mitigate these risks, consumers opt for travel insurance, which is a significant driving factor for the travel insurance market.
Travel insurance providers in the market are adopting several model acts, laws & regulations including development of prospective legislation, and enforcement activity, accelerating the growth of travel protection products and services in the industry.
However, lack of awareness towards travel insurance policies, low consumer experiences in terms of coverages, premium rates, and services by third-party providers of travel insurance remains a primary concern, as a result, these factors limit the growth of travel insurance premium in the market.
On the contrary, insurers are expected to enhance existing distribution platforms of travel insurance to accelerate productivity with the help of technologies such as geo-location, application program interface (API), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and global positioning system (GPS), among others. As a result, these factors are expected to create travel insurance market opportunity in the upcoming years.
The insurance intermediaries sector dominated the travel insurance industry in 2019 and is projected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Due to several intermediaries upgrading their offerings by incorporating software such as global distribution system (GDS), which enables transactions between travel industry service providers such as airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and travel agencies.
The report focuses on the growth prospects, restraints, and trends of the travel insurance market analysis. The study provides Porter’s five forces analysis to understand the impact of various factors such as bargaining power of suppliers, competitive intensity of competitors, threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, and bargaining power of buyers on the travel insurance market.

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Covid-19 health crisis has plunged the world economy into uncertainty. Like several business sectors, insurance has not been spared.
Swiss Re’s projections show a decline in the global insurance market of 1.4 percent in 2020 after the increases of 2.3 percent reported in 2019 and 4.8 percent in 2018.
Moreover, this crisis comes at a time when the market is heavily strained by the resurgence of more severe and devastating natural disasters.
The persistence of low interest rates, the volatility of the capital markets and the low outlook for premium growth are all factors that show very little hope for a return to normal for several years to come.
Cost of the Covid-19 to the insurance market pandemic, According to Standard & Poor’s estimates by the end of June 2020, the cost of this health crisis for the global insurance and reinsurance market would be between 35 and 50 billion USD. The top 20 reinsurers alone will bear 14% of the bill, that is approximately 12 billion USD.
In addition to this heavy bill, market stakeholders expect a drop in profitability and a decline in operational performance. The annual accounts for the year 2020 should be adversely impacted at the level of assets, liabilities, results, revenues.
Impact of the Covid-19 on profitability of insurers
The decline in the results of the leading insurers and reinsurers for the third quarter 2020 has forced some stakeholders to revise downwards their growth prospects for the financial year 2020. Projections for 2021 and the following years are, for their part, put on stand-by or revised downwards.
Among the market leaders, Axa puts forward a projected cost of the crisis on its accounts of 1.5 billion EUR (1.75 billion USD). Allianz’s losses would amount to 1.3 billion EUR (1.52 billion USD). The German reinsurer Munich Re, for its part, forecasts an invoice of 800 million EUR (936.4 million USD) related to the current pandemic for the first nine months of 2020.
Impact of the Covid-19 on claim experience
As a result of the interruption of economic activities, the loss ratio has evolved either downwards or upwards depending on the class of business.
In general, all property and casualty classes of business reported a decline in claims, a trend mainly observed in motor and homeowner’s insurance.
This improvement has led some companies, especially the mutual ones, to grant discounts to policyholders and to pay out dividends even before the 2020 financial statements are closed.
The lines of business hit the hardest by the effects of the crisis are event cancellation and business interruption covers.
Other directly exposed lines such as credit insurance, assistance, travel insurance, health insurance and provident insurance also saw an increase in claims.
Non-physical damage business interruption coverage Insurance: event cancellation coverage Covid-19: Insurers and authorities up against the risk of a pandemic
The exceptional magnitude of the crisis forced the authorities to react. Indeed, to avoid a total collapse of the economy, governments had to take urgent measures to support the various market stakeholders, calling on insurers to participate in this surge of solidarity.
Consequently, some regulators asked and sometimes imposed on private insurers to examine with understanding the claims related to Covid-19. Others, on the other hand, have insisted on the respect of the guarantees as stipulated in the contracts, while requesting financial support from the insurance companies for the benefit of individuals and sectors affected by the crisis.

For insurers, the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak includes a surge in health, travel and business interruption claims, pressure on sales from reduced business activity, and less use of face-to-face channels. The gathering economic slowdown emanating from the pandemic is also driving interest rates even lower and increasing credit risk exposures from businesses facing possible default.

This raises the possibility of regulators asking for extraordinary solvency tests to ensure insurers can withstand the immediate and knock-on impacts. Put together, this daunting list of issues represents a stern test of resilience for an industry already weighed down by enduringly low interest rates and slow growth in mature markets.

South Africa
Insurers are not required to cover business interruption caused by the pandemic when coverage is not purchased.
The Kenyan regulatory authority IRA has ordered insurers to pay all pandemic-related claims.
Cima Zone
The Inter-African Insurance Market Conference, which includes 14 African countries, recommends fair treatment and protection of policyholders’ interests.
The Supervisory Authority of Insurance and Social Welfare (ACAPS) has temporarily loosened certain prudential rules. It has also taken mitigation measures to enable the insurance sector to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. Thus, the losses avoided to the market by these measures are estimated at 700 million MAD (76 million USD).
The authorities have opted to establish a public-private partnership to find “new insurance solutions to this unprecedented crisis”. The French Federation of Insurers has thus submitted proposals to the government to build a system of protection against “exceptional disasters”.
Faced with exceptional economic costs related to Covid-19, estimated at 86 billion EUR (100.57 billion USD) at the end of 2020, insurers have taken several support measures including: a contribution of 3.2 billion USD to support and indemnify the most affected individuals and companies, a 2.5 billion USD grant to participate in the country’s economic recovery.
United States
In order to alleviate the burden of the pandemic, the United States, the country most affected by Covid-19, adopted a series of emergency measures, including the CARES Act.
The new provisions allowed the federal government to allocate approximately 3 000 billion USD in financial aid to businesses and individuals.
The insurance companies have provided 8.1 billion USD in assistance in the form of refunds, discounts, dividends and credits to motor insurance policyholders.
In most states, companies provide this support on a voluntary basis, although government authorities encourage insurers to take such initiatives. Cigna and New York Life, for example, have created a fund called the Brave Heart Fund. Its purpose is to provide financial support to the families of medical employees who have died from coronavirus.

Favour Nnabugwu

Capital constraints in local markets are leading to more business flowing to wholesale markets, such as London and Bermuda.

According AM Best, Private equity, industry capital and public placements all contributed to the capital inflow, said Best, supporting the balance sheets of existing players, alongside some material scaleups and a number of true startups.

Listed carriers including Beazley, Hiscox, QBE, Lancashire and Renaissance Re tapped public equity and debt markets, while privately-owned Convex and Fidelis raised capital from new and existing shareholders.

Best said the capital inflow partly reflects the absence of other opportunities for investors, particularly the low interest-rate environment, and the risk and reward calculation posed by the insurance industry in a hardening market may look more attractive to existing and new investors.

The ratings agency noted that Bermudian and London market insurers have been able to raise equity with relative ease, suggesting that investors have confidence in the near-term prospects of the insurance industry, despite claims uncertainty in respect of Covid-19, social inflation and catastrophe exposure.

Third-party capital, for example in the form of collateralised reinsurance vehicles (sidecars) and insurance-linked securities, continues to flow into the market, but the pace has tempered, following a period of high-severity losses and issues surrounding collateral release, said Best.

One area attracting interest as a result of the current hardening market is US casualty business. In recent years, insurers writing US casualty business has been hit by an increase in both the frequency of attritional claims and a rise in the severity of large losses, largely reflecting the issues with social inflation and rising jury awards in the US, said Best.

In particular, directors and officers, errors and omissions, excess casualty and healthcare liability lines have been particularly affected; and as a result these lines have been pruned, with the subsequent squeeze on capacity supporting material rate improvements.

Best said: “Capital constraints in local markets are leading to more business flowing to wholesale markets, such as London. As a result, insurers are seeing attractive opportunities to deploy capital, particularly in specialty excess and surplus markets and more recently in reinsurance.

This was demonstrated by the strong growth recorded by existing London market insurers in 2020, with results announcements detailing double-digit rate increases for some lines of business.”

The impact of all of this could have a dampening effect on price increases, said Best, although it noted that a portion of the additional capital raised in 2020 has already been required to absorb adverse prior-year loss reserve development and upward revisions in Covid-19-related loss estimates.

“The [effect that the] economic consequences of the pandemic will have on demand for insurance is highly uncertain and will largely depend on the length and depth of the economic downturn. As economies shrink, so does the value of insurable risk. But when businesses come under financial pressure, their appetite to retain risk may also reduce – increasing demand for insurance cover,” said Best.

Best also noted that there has been a concern that some risks, even where there have been material rate increases, are still not adequately priced. “The persistent squeeze on capacity means rates have continued to rise in these lines and there does now appear to be growing confidence around price adequacy,” it said.

Best explained that economic volatility caused by Covid-19 may constrain M&A activity in the short term, but in the longer term, consolidation pressures are likely as some insurers come under increased financial pressure. However, Best said it expects to see further portfolio transfers in the forms of disposals of non-core businesses to strategic buyers, financial buyers and runoff specialists.

Allianz, Munich Re insurance solution ‘Cloud Protection’

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the corporate insurer of Allianz SE, and Munich Re have jointly developed a new commercial cyber risk insurance solution called “Cloud Protection +.”

This collaboration provides state-of the-art insurance exclusively designed for customers of Google Cloud enrolled in Google’s new “Risk Protection Program.

The Risk Protection Program consists of two components: Risk Manager, a new tool that helps determine a customer’s security risk posture on the cloud, and Cloud Protection Plus + – a new cyber insurance solution built exclusively for Google Cloud customers.

Under Cloud Protection +, clients are offered, subject to underwriting eligibility, a new type of protection against cyber incidents within their own corporate environment as well as incidents related to Google Cloud. Target customers for this solution are US-based Google Cloud users, though this offering may be offered globally at a later date.

Companies are increasingly using cloud-based solutions: according to Gartner Research, by 2024, more than 45 percent of IT spending will shift from traditional solutions to the cloud. Cloud usage comes with many benefits, such as lowered cost, enhanced data analytics and expanded collaboration, but also new potential risk around security, compliance and data privacy.

“As one of the top three global business risks in the Allianz Risk Barometer 2021, cyber risk is complex and ever-changing, and cloud exposures are among today’s most relevant threats,” stated Thomas Kang, North American Head of Cyber, AGCS.

To address a developing market need with Munich Re along with a major cloud platform provider such as Google Cloud is ideal. We not only obtain valuable insights on a company’s security posture, but remain at the forefront of understanding and managing emerging risks associated with cloud architecture and latest client needs.”

The new product allows both carriers to utilize Google Cloud’s proprietary assessment tools to harness stronger underwriting variables, yielding a more data-driven risk evaluation and underwriting process. Each carrier will use the data from Google Cloud’s Risk Manager reports to simplify the insurance application and risk assessment. Conveniently, carriers receive reports directly from the clients through the Risk Manager tool.

“It is optimal for industry peers to establish custom products that move the needle in today’s corporate environment,” added Jody Yee, Managing Director for Alternative Risk Transfer, AGCS. “We are meeting latest coverage needs with viable solutions to meet changing business dynamics.”

Cloud customers, especially those in regulated markets such as financial services and healthcare, are concerned about security and reliability in the cloud as they run the risk of high-profile data breaches and outages. Some have resulted in great financial and reputational loss or even business closures. Whether it stems from an external cyber-attack, human error or a technical failure, the Allianz Trend in Cyber Risk report further points out that business interruption (BI) due to security issues, is the main cost driver behind cyber claims; it accounts for nearly 60% of the value of all claims analyzed, with the costs associated with data breaches ranking second.

AGCS launched its first standalone cyber insurance product in 2013, and has seen steady growth since in all key markets, globally. As the demand for cyber coverage has evolved, Allianz launched its Cyber Center of Competence in 2018. The center, embedded into AGCS, focusses on coordination and alignment of cyber underwriting for the commercial insurance segment within Allianz Group, adopting a prudent approach as both cyber risks and claims are increasing.

Recent priorities include the development of a new underwriting approach to clarify exposures – particularly silent cyber – across commercial property and casualty policies. Product governance and harmonization as well as the further expansion of the global service provider network for cyber policyholders are also key areas under review.

By Favour Nnabugwu

Close to 35 years of its existence in Lagos, Nigeria, Continental Reinsurance announces the retirement of Dr Femi Oyetunji, the out going Group Managing Director of the company come March 31, 2021.

According to Oyetunji, 2020 was one of the most challenging years ever experienced globally, following the Covid-19 pandemic. “We faced daunting business conditions, but our teams responded with the enterprise and commitment I have come to expect.  We boldly adapted to the business environment and embraced a range of new opportunities.”

The announcement coincides with the publication of an independent brand survey by Kantar that recognised Continental Re as a truly credible pan-African company.  Conducted in six representative markets, the survey shows that the company exceeds the global reputation benchmark.

“It was gratifying to obtain an overall score of 79 points which is above the global benchmark of 73.  Now, however, our goal is to keep pushing higher”, said Dr Femi Oyetunji.

Not just a marketing exercise, the study is the result of a 360-degree assessment of all aspects of the business.  Reputational gains can clearly be attributed to a successful “inside/out” thinking that considers employees the very foundation and starting point of sustainable business planning.

Today’s announcement was further marked by the opening of the company’s headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.

Speaking during the unveiling ceremony, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Chairman, Continental Reinsurance Plc said, “The new headquarters is a milestone in Continental Re’s ambitious long-term plans.  It is a physical manifestation that positions the company at the heart of Africa’s largest economy. Both the brand survey and the unveiling of the new headquarters coincide with the imminent retirement of Dr Femi Oyetunji, Group Managing Director who has provided decade-long transformational leadership to Continental Re. Dr Oyetunji retires on 31 March 2021.

He leaves a strong legacy of significant contributions that will live on in the company for many years to come.  His key achievements include landing an aggressive strategy to position the company as a pan-African brand with a strong presence across six key geographical locations; under his leadership, revenue grew fivefold, profitability threefold, and productivity more than doubled, along with the transformation of the company’s culture, processes, and standards.  He has collaboratively led the creation of an enabling environment for thought leadership and sound corporate governance agenda in the industry on the African continent.

Commenting on his retirement, Dr Oyetunji said, “We’re passing the leadership on to the next generation. They will be faced with new and sometimes unprecedented challenges but in their stewardship is a company that has a rich legacy.  Our predecessors and ourselves have created a strong foundation; I am confident that my successor will raise the company to lofty heights.”

“It is symbolic that the opening of the new headquarters coincides with the passing of the baton.”

Allianz is buying Aviva’s Italian P&C operations for €330million, with the deal expected to close in the second half of this year.

The acquisition of Aviva Italia includes its 500 agents and will consolidate Allianz’s position as the third-largest player in the Italian P&C market.

The Aviva Italia portfolio is equally distributed between motor and non-motor business, with gross written premiums of about €400m.

“With its strong focus on customer satisfaction and distribution excellence, Allianz is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for both clients and agents. The similarity of the business models, combined with strong investments in technological innovation by Allianz in recent years, are key elements to drive the effective integration and joint growth,” said the German insurer on the deal.

Giacomo Campora, CEO of Allianz Italia, said the acquisition fits with its strategy for growth based on a solid technical platform and continuous investments.