There is a saying that goes “The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground”.
Put more contextually, the growth of the greatest stories and brands of the world ties back to an origin. Evolution precedes even the greatest mythologies and medieval practices. The insurance industry in Nigeria similarly stems from years of gathering stones before we got here. We shall answer questions associated with the emergence and sustainability of insurance companies in Nigeria.
Are you in the practice of patronising insurance companies, or are you just starting out on its familiarity? Let’s go back in time – back to where it all started.
How Insurance In Nigeria Started…
Before our independence, the colonial period set the pedestal for the operations [modern] insurance in Nigeria. European companies performed services through the initiation of inter-regional trade. Since they needed to mitigate risk at a local level, they obtained insurance licenses from authorities abroad.
Fast forward to post-independence, these European brands needed to retain their authority in Nigeria. This, however, led to the creation of branches by these brands in Africa. One can accrue the eventual visibility of insurance in Nigeria to this development.
The First Insurance Companies in Nigeria
The Royal Exchange Assurance Agency officially became the oldest insurance company in the history of insurance in Nigeria. For its indigenous variant; native to Nigerians, the African Insurance Company Limited holds the position. It appeared and started providing its services in 1958.
Other companies that were in operation at the time of the Royal Exchange Assurance Agency include the following:
- BEWAC’s Legal and General Assurance
- Patterson Zochonis [PZ] Liverpool
- Law Union and Rock
The Emergence of The National Insurance Commission
In a bid for the Nigerian government to flex its sovereignty, it established NAICOM. The Nigerian Insurance Market needed to adopt regulations that were well-seated with her immediate environment.
The National Insurance Commission was established in 1997 to oversee insurance practices in the country. From then until now, NAICOM is vested with the responsibility of the main regulator of Insurance in Nigeria.
An overview of the insurance history in Nigeria provides a backdrop for experienced and ‘freshmen’ policyholders. It is almost impossible to discuss the development of insurance in Nigeria, without making reference to our erstwhile colonial masters. Ideally, this provided the platform for the practice and operations in the country. In the past few years, however, we have experienced steady development in the industry.