Investors scramble for micro insurance licences

Investors have flooded the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) with applications for micro insurance operational licences.
The Head Corporate Affairs, NAICOM, Rasaaq Salami, said in a chat that the commission had received applications from investors seeking state and unit micro insurance licences, adding that prior to the release of the revised Micro insurance guidelines some applications were received, but the applicants were enjoined to wait for the current guideline.
NAICOM had vowed to properly examine the applications in order to ensure that fit and proper investors are granted approval to operate micro insurance business which is aimed at taking insurance to the grassroots.
In the guideline, NAICOM said a National Insurer, who seek composite micro insurance license, is expected to be capitalized to the tune of N600 million, while N400 million minimum capital base is needed from a General micro insurance and N200 million for a Life operations.
The commission noted that national operators are allowed to have presence in at least six states within three geopolitical zones of the federation.
For a State Micro insurer, the minimum capital base is pegged at NI00 million, broken into N60 million for general and N40 million for life operators. The regulator also expects such underwriter to operate only in one State of the federation with at least three branches or office locations, each in a different Local Government Area.
A Unit Micro insurer investor, must be capitalized to the tune of N40 million, N25 for general business and N15 million for life, with operation in one location within a local community.
The regulator, has therefore made it mandatory for these micro insurance outfits to be visible and must be seen to be serving the low income earners in the grassroots.
The new move is focused at increasing insurance penetration from 0.6 per cent it is presently, to over two per cent in the near future, as well as increase the annual premium income of insurance industry to N1 trillion by year 2020.

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