Insurance needs tailor-made Takaful products for households, MSMEs – NAICOM

By admin


Nigeria’s quest for achieving improved penetration in the Insurance industry will rely heavily on the impact of tailor-made “Takaful” products designed for households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mr. Zubairu Sulaiman Darazo, the Head, Takaful Unit at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), who represented the Commissioner for Insurance, made this point while delivering the keynote at the Second edition of the WebTV Islamic Finance Webinar.

The webinar, which discussed the theme “Islamic Finance and Insurance”, was an opportunity for regulators, operators and experts to explore how to unlock the growth of Takaful.

He noted that as of Q2,2021, Nigeria had five Takaful companies (four full-fledged and one window) and 120 products approved by NAICOM.

He gave further details on the Takaful segment of the nation’s insurance industry. He said Takaful premium contribution in 2020 was N4bn, which was low in terms of the country’s total gross industry premium.

He identified lack of awareness and lack of skilled manpower as the challenges stifling the growth of the takaful market in the nation.

Nigerian Insurance Needs Tailor-Made Takaful Products For Households, MSMEs – NAICOM

Veritas Kapital announces appointment of Oyindamola Unuigbe as Executive Director

By Favour Nnabugwu


Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs. Oyindamola Unuigbe into its Board as an Executive Director of the Company.

The appointment was disclosed by the firm in a notice dated 27th of September 2021, signed by its secretary, Saratu Umar Garba, and sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

According to the disclosure, the appointment is subject to the final approval from the National Insurance Commision (NAICOM).

Oyindamola brings to bear over two decades of hands-on expertise in the insurance and financial services sectors. She combines experience in entrepreneurship, underwriting; reinsurance; portfolio management; product and business development; enterprise risk management and sales and marketing; acquired across leading international and local organizations.

She is responsible and oversees all operational aspects of the company necessary for business success and growth. In addition, she helps set strategic goals and is responsible for the flow of operations information to the chief executive and the board, while developing and executing new growth initiatives.

Prior to her appointment as an Executive Director at Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, Oyindamola served as Head, Business Development, South wherein she was responsible for overseeing business procurement and total service delivery activities of branches in the Southern region of Nigeria.

She has over 27-years of relevant experience and have worked in key positions in reputable brands, including but not limited to; Accounts Manager with Brokerlink Inc.; one of Canada’s largest brokerage firms; Primerica Life Insurance Company, Alberta Canada; where she developed key competencies in the areas of processes and procedures that conform to the international practice of General and Life Insurance, Standards and Regulatory Compliance requirements.

She started her career at the Lagos office of SCIB insurance brokers and subsequently worked at Citi Trust insurance brokers and the Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation where she served as a senior manager.

Oyindamola holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ife, Nigeria. She is an Associate of both the Chartered Insurance Institute of London (ACII) and Nigeria (ACIIN) and is a recipient of various prestigious international certifications encompassing general insurance, life insurance and professional risk management.

EC steps up pressure on VW to compensate all EU dieselgate consumers

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The European Commission (EC) has told German car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) to compensate customers across the European Union for misleading them over vehicle emissions, known as “dieselgate” when it was exposed six years ago.

Together with the Consumer Protection Cooperation, the EC said VW breached EU consumer protection law when it sold diesel vehicles fitted with devices to cheat emissions tests.

VW has only agreed to compensate its vehicle owners living in Germany at the time of purchase, but the EC has called on the company to extend this to all affected consumers across all EU countries.

Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, said: “Up until now, not all consumers have been compensated. There have been court rulings exposing Volkswagen’s unfair treatment of consumers, and yet the carmaker is not willing to work with consumer organisations to find appropriate solutions for consumers.

“Not only consumers residing in Germany, but all consumers need to be compensated,” Mr Reynders said.

VW is expected to pay €750m to more than 230,000 of its vehicle owners in Germany.

But VW told the EC that compensation to EU consumers outside Germany is not justified because all affected vehicles have been recalled to meet legal requirements.

The EC said it is “mounting the pressure” on VW to change its stance.

Speaking to AFP, Mr Reynders said VW faces reputational risk if it does not pay out across the EU. “It’s really a trust question for consumers,” he said.

Mr Reynders added that VW should voluntarily pay compensation of about €3,000 per vehicle in line with average court orders in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Lamia Ben Mahmoud re-elected to AIO executive for 3 years

By Favour Nnabugwu



Mrs. Lamia Ben Mahmoud, General Manager of Tunis Re, was reappointed to the AIO Executive Board as a new board member for a three-year term.

Mrs Lamia Ben Mahmoud has a very wide experience in the insurance field. She has been the Managing Director of her country’s reinsurance pioneer, Tunis Re, since 2009. Prior to moving to Tunis Re, she was the
General Manager of the insurance regulation division of the comité Général des Assurances ( Tunisia’s insurance regulatory body) between 2005 and 2009.

She had earlier held the position of Director of insurance regulation in the same structure. Her professional life was closely envolved around the insurance department of the Tunisian Ministry of Finance for over Seventeen (17) years as she served as Manager, insurance supervisior, Head of
Legislation department and Central inspector.

Mrs Lamia Ben Mahmoud is an unshakable pillar in the Tunisia insurance market; She was President of the intermediaries accreditation commission of insurance in the Ministry of Finance. She has also served
as Government Commissioner in the Consultative Commission on Insurance.

Mrs. Ben Mahmoud has served as Director in the board of directors of several Tunisian Insurance and Reinsurance Companies and some foreigh compagnies such as « l’ARAB RE and AVENI RE.

She has a professional repute that spans across the entire African continent. She goes down into the annals of history as the third woman to serve as President of the African Insurance Organisation in 2015-2016.

She has equally served as memeber of the Executive Committee of the Fédération Tunisienne des Sociétés d’Assurances (FTUSA), member of
the Executive Committee of the African Insurance Oraganisation (AIO),
member of Executive Comittee of the Arab War Risks Insurance

The 47th Conference and General Assembly of the African Insurance Organization (AIO) was held from 4 to 8 September 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Based in Cameroon, the AIO currently counts 354 members in 48 African countries.

Aon estimates global reinsurer capital at $660bn

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Analysts at Aon have estimated that global reinsurer capital totalled $660 billion at 30 June 2021, following growth in both traditional and alternative capital.

The figure, which represents a $10 billion increase versus the end of 2020, was calculated based on a broad measure of the capital available for insurers to trade risk with.

For comparison, rating agency AM Best recently estimated that dedicated global reinsurance capacity could be at a level of around $532 billion in 2021, representing a 3 percent increase over the year-end 2020 figure of $517 billion.

According to Aon’s assessment, traditional equity capital rose by $7 billion to $563 billion over the first six months of 2021, driven by retained earnings

Most reinsurers reported profitable results in the period, aided by the beneficial impact of recent rate increases and strong returns from equities and alternative investments.

And in terms of alternative capital, assets under management in this sector rose by $3 billion to $97 billion over the six-month period.

The broker noted that, after four consecutive quarters of growth, this area of the market has now recovered to the peak level seen at the end of 2018.

Aon’s Reinsurance Aggregate (ARA), which underwrites over 50 percent of the world’s life and non-life reinsurance premiums, shows that total ARA capital was unchanged at $270 billion at 30 June 2021.

And total equity was similarly flat at $211 billion, with $198 billion attributable to common shareholders, $5 billion to preferred shareholders and $8 billion to minority interests. Total debt was also unchanged $59 billion, resulting in a debt-to-total-capital ratio of 21.9percent

UNDP launches Insurance & Risk Finance Facility, ILS support anticipated

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has today launched the Insurance and Risk Finance Facility (IRFF), a new initiative that aims to build financial resilience and bridge a $1.4 trillion global health, mortality, and disaster protection gap, with support from the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market expected in future.

UNDP logoImportantly, this Insurance and Risk Finance Facility (IRFF) will work to channel risk to private insurance, reinsurance and capital markets over-time, and aims to significantly increase the role of insurance and risk-financing in development.

The German Government has contributed €35 million in funding to the Facility, which will be used for technical work and capacity building on the ground, as well as for the development of new insurance products.

It’s also seen as another way to advance delivery of the InsuResilience Global Partnership’s Vision 2025 promises, which were originally presented at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

Capacity has already been lined up through partnerships with the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) and backers include ten of the largest insurance and reinsurance companies in the world (Allianz, AXA, Axis, Guy Carpenter, Hannover Re, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, Willis Towers Watson and Aon), who will work with UNDP to build long-term financial resilience in countries.

“The insurance industry recognizes that the new challenges we collectively face – the climate crisis being the largest of them all – require public-private solutions. We welcome the investment UNDP is making through the launch of its Insurance and Risk Financing Facility to work together with the insurance industry at this crucial juncture.

This demonstrates the progress the insurance and development community are making and will allow us to ramp up results on the ground,” explained Denis Duverne, Chairman of Axa and Chairman of the Insurance Development Forum

“In a world of growing and converging risks, developing countries and their communities are often the worst affected and the least able to rebuild and recover. Without financial resilience, the most vulnerable can be locked into a downward spiral of debt and poverty.

Faced with these challenges, insurance and risk-finance products, tools and services can secure our critical infrastructure, protect our agriculture and businesses, and preserve critical ecoystems that make life on earth possible,” added Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

The IRFF will operate across five regions globally, working alongside insurance and reinsurance industry participants as well as government in order to transform markets.

The ambition of the IRFF is to co-create insurance and risk finance solutions in more than 50 developing countries by 2025, embing them in public financial decision-making.

All with a goal of contributing to the InsuResilience Vision 2025 target of protecting 500 million poor and vulnerable people by 2025.

“Building the financial resilience of countries and communities is a critical element of tackling climate change and safeguarding past and future development gains. Germany is strongly committed to the InsuResilience Global Partnership to enhance protection from climate impacts. Risk finance and insurance solutions enable the delivery of effective disaster response and help countries to be better prepared for the impacts of climate change and other shocks by reducing humanitarian impacts, building people’s capacity to recover more quickly and strengthening community resilience.

In 2020 alone, more than 200 projects in over 100 countries contributed to the InsuResilience Global Partnership, protecting an additional 137 million people,” explained Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

“The global community made a commitment at the UN Climate Summit in 2019, and all of us – governments, industry, the development sector – need to step up our work to enable climate-proof development.”

There is a direct climate link as well, in the work the IRFF will undertake, as under it, the UNDP will work with governments to include climate risk modelling work in their National Development Plans and Financing Strategies, Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation plans and more.

All of which should heighten awareness of climate related exposures at the national level, driving a need for risk transfer and risk capital.

To learn more, Artemis spoke with Daniel Stander, a Senior Advisor to UNDP and a former Global Managing Director of RMS.

Stander advises in particular on Partnerships and has been working closely with the UNDP and Partners on the IRFF launch.

“Only through partnerships can we hope to leverage the enormous potential of insurance solutions to stabilise development progress, protect the vulnerable and build resilience in an increasingly risky world,” Stander explained.

He went on to explain the importance of the IRFF launch, “The need for and the potential of ex-ante risk finance is well documented. However, progress to date has been stymied by two issues. The first is the absence of a credible, in-country partner with the relationships and contextual understanding needed to ensure governments are adequately supported in their efforts to embrace appropriate risk pooling solutions.

The second is the absence of frameworks that allow markets to flourish. The IRFF, predicated on deep collaboration with the insurance value chain, has been designed to overcome precisely these two obstacles. Never has a partnership of such scale been put in place between any industry and the development sector.”

The IRFF is a firmly private market focused initiative, with the UNDP having no interest in bearing risk itself, rather in facilitating the use of insurance and risk transfer more widely to increase resilience.

“Unlike some in the development space, UNDP has little interest in capitalizing, underwriting or syndicating risk. UNDP firmly believes that the private sector is far better placed to fulfil these functions, and sees itself as a catalyst to improve the enabling environment, and to thereby drive forward new risk financing solutions with its insurance industry partners.

As such, the IRFF has been welcomed as a breath of fresh air by the entire insurance value chain. It’s a harmonious marriage, without the competitive tensions that have undermined previous attempts to help diversifying risk to find much needed capital.

“Over time, this initiative will protect the vulnerable by leveraging the balance sheets of insurers, reinsurers and ILS funds. Much credit goes to UNDP and BMZ for the vision and ambition, but just as much goes to the private sector for putting aside competitive priorities and rolling up its parametric sleeves in order to grow the size of the insurable pie for everyone’s benefit,” Stander said.

Going on to explain the role of insurance-linked securities (ILS), “The facility is agnostic to the source of any risk capital deployed. Much more important are factors like protecting the vulnerable, effective triggers, coupling risk transfer with contingency planning, and empowering people in the face of risk.

That said, discussions with industry partners and programme countries have foregrounded parametric solutions – not just for the obvious reasons of speed and certainty, but also because transparent structures tend to increase the pool of potential capital providers.

“Given the scale of the IRFF’s ambition, there’s every reason to expect issuances that will be as attractive to dedicated ILS funds as they will be to insurance and reinsurance firms.”

The scope of work will begin with a focus on larger, middle-income developing countries, but all regions are in scope, “because the issues of risk, financing and development are critically intertwined everywhere,” Stander told us.

“The IRFF’s initial focus is not limited to one or two regions. Rather, the facility is already up and running in each of the five regions where UNDP operates. Work is well underway, for example, in Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh Colombia, Ghana, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam,” he continued.

For now, the focus is on the initial insurance and reinsurance market partners, but with an ambition to expand that as premiums build and more access to risk capital is needed.

Stander said that, “Capital providers include several reinsurers (e.g. Hannover Re, Munich Re, Ren Re, SCOR, Swiss Re) and a number of primary insurers (e.g. Allianz, AXA, Axis). The IRFF is also involving regional and local insurers (e.g. ARC), as one of our aims is to help strengthen the domestic insurance markets in every country where we work. The same is true of the brokers, insofar as we are working both globally with the larger intermediaries (e.g. Aon, Guy Carpenter and Willis) and locally involving domestic brokers as appropriate.”

Concluding, “One of our core principles in the UN is leaving no one behind. It’s built into the Sustainable Development Goals, and we really want to work with industry to open up conversations on insurance and risk-financing in all countries that could benefit, regardless of income-level or institutional capacity. We need to always be widening the scope of our work, and bringing in more countries – and private sector partners – into the conversation.”

The IRFF is just the latest in a string of initiatives that promised to advance the roll-out of insurance and reinsurance products to developing nations, in a mission to enhance resilience and ensure more people are covered.

Too often these have ended up having little real impact, while industry players have been unable to agree on motives and modes of operation.

The IRFF has a broad mandate to deliver more risk transfer, using private market capital and public funding to assist in the technical work and preparing countries to embrace insurance markets more fully.

It is to be hoped that this time a more significant dent on global underinsurance can be made, as there are only so many initiatives that can be introduced to governments around the world without them becoming jaded and losing trust.

The IRFF seems to want to take the right approach and to use the most efficient forms of risk transfer and risk capital available, but time will tell whether it can deliver on its promises and make a meaningful impact and really begin to narrow some of the protection gaps that exist and continue to widen.

The ILS market will be keen to support any initiative like this, if the opportunity is presented in the right way.

Given equal opportunity to write the risks the Facility can produce, or that it can stimulate to come to market, ILS funds will be as keen as they would to participate in any other part of the market, as long as risk is well-priced.

Should the IRFF look to structure risk into capital market vehicles, or securitisations, then it may be able to benefit from the efficiency of the capital markets more directly, to the ultimate benefit of those it is trying to cover.

Africa Re optimistic after improved H1 results

By Favour Nnabugwu



Africa Re CEO Corneille Karekezi has said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the company’s prospects for 2021, following an H1 period that yielded improved underwriting and investment performance, as well as higher profits.

Africa Re recorded a gross premium income of US $421 million in the first six months of 2021 compared to $393 million reported in the same period of 2020.

The reinsurer attributes this 7.2 percent growth in GWP to the ongoing recovery of businesses and society from COVID-19, supported by additional facultative acceptances mostly in the oil & gas portfolios.

The year-to-date claims experience as measured by the net incurred loss ratio similarly improved to 61.9 percent compared to 64.6 opercent in the same period of 2020, helped by the restructuring of previously poor performing portfolios.

The expense ratio did however increase from 24.4 percent  to 28.5 percent for H1, due to a 22 percent n business acquisition costs and the increase in the top line, combined with higher than usual profit commissions paid to ceding insurance companies.

But the combined ratio for the six-month period still improved to 96.9%, compared with 98.1 percent in H1 of 2020.

As a result, net underwriting profit for the first half of 2021 closed at $9.2 million, outperforming the $5.4 million reported last year by 69.1percent.

Investment income for the reported period was also up by 68.3 percent to $31.3 million, driven by capital gains and improved performance of most equities leading to higher dividend paid.

As a result of the underwriting and investment performance, Africa Re’s net profit for the H1 2021 was $23.7 million, outperforming by 27 percent the $18.7 million achieved in the same period of 2020.

Commenting on these results, Karekezi, said: “It is pleasing to note that the positive performance achieved in the first quarter of the year is being sustained through the first semester of 2021 and we remain cautiously optimistic for the rest of the year, barring any unforeseen major losses.”

Emirates to add 11 Airbus A380 destinations in November

By Favour Nnabugwu



Dubai-based carrier Emirates will add 11 Airbus A380 destinations to its growing network by the end of November.

The airline hopes to send the giant of the skies to 27 destinations, up 65 percent from the 16 currently served by the carrier. The aircraft will be added to both leisure and business-focused routes

.Emirates is the odd one out when it comes to Airbus A380 operations. While most airlines have scrapped their jets or are keeping them grounded for the time being, Emirates is pushing ahead with the giant’s return to service. More than a quarter of the airline’s 119 aircraft fleet is now operational once more.

11 Airbus A380 routes planned

With stability and demand gradually returning to the aviation industry, Emirates is starting to plan slightly further afield when it comes to the return of its Airbus A380 fleet. Over the coming two months, many destinations will see a return of the giant, while some will even see it for the first time.

The A380 network increase will be kicked off by Istanbul on October 1st. This is a special route as it isn’t just new to Emirate’s giant. It will actually be the first time a passenger Airbus A380 flight has been operated to Turkey, let alone Istanbul. Unfortunately, Emirates can’t claim the first A380 flight to Turkey, as Hi Fly’s charter aircraft flew to Istanbul for a technical stop shortly before its retirement.

Africa Re, IFC sign deal to encourage smaholder farmers get insurance

By Favour Nnabugwu



Insurance companies in Africa sre encouraging smallholder farmers to access insurance at affordable terms while underwriters  develop new products that will will help advance agriculture insurance in the country.

The culminated into a deal between Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

Africa Re and IFC agreement will help facilitate the development of agriculture insurance market space in Nigeria.

Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, Africa Re, Mr. Ken Aghoghovbia, “This initiative would certainly go a long way in moving Nigeria towards its goal of food security in line with Africa-Re’s mission to support African economic development.”

Aghoghovbia, expressed satisfaction with the partnership as it will go a long way in assisting Nigerian insurers to develop appropriate insurance products for smallholder farmers and help move Nigeria towards its goal of achieving food security.

These index insurance products will help protect farmers against environmental risks such as drought, floods, erratic rainfall and other natural hazards..

They believed that the African agriculture insurance market has encountered several challenges that have resulted in the very low penetration levels of this class over the years, but the products became riddled with high costs of administration and the inherent fraud risks made it difficult for underwriters to implement.

Insurers, reinsurers to erase premiums going offshore – Africa Re

By Favour Nnabugwu



Insurers and reinsurers in Africa are determined to erase the unpleasant trends of the continent’s premiums going abroad.

The Group Managing Director of Africa Reunsurance Corporation, Africa Re, Dr. Corneille Karekezi while surging the potentials African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He said, “A significant portion of insurance premiums are still leaving the continent. We will not relent in our effort and determination to reverse this ugly trend.”
 Karekezi expressed fears that all the potentials may not hatch to command the prosperous new Africa insurance and this he maintains, remains remains a challenge.
The Africa Re GMD xrayed how the economic integration initiative enables the operators in the Africa insurance industry leverage the largest trade area in the world in terms of the number of member countries since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
Despite the concern that the challenges are not coming down in a short term after commencement of the free trade agreement, Africa Re helmsman hope is still ignited, his comments, “We hope that the expected boost of intra-Africa trade from AfCFTA will also result into much needed improvement in insurance penetration on the continent.”
That expected boost that Karekezi hope rests on is the $450bn potential income gains at stake and African insurers/reinsurers should not be laid back but get on the starting blocks fully prepared for the enormous potentials.
But with an eye for all times AfCFTA inclusive, he says, “On our part, we will continue to retain more and more business on the continent and offer different capacity building initiatives across the continent. That is our mission.”