Why underwriting firms are resisting new recapitalization plan

Not many consumers of insurance services in the country’s insurance market understand why many insurance firms operating in the country are resisting the new recapitalization template introduced by the industry regulator – National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), to strengthen the capacity of the firms to insure and meet obligations to – policyholders, government, market umbrella bodies, regulators’ fees, among others.

For instance, some aggrieved insurance stakeholders had earlier filed suits mandating the court to stop NAICOM from proceeding with the just suspended exercise. The scenario was similar to what happened in 2018, when some aggrieved shareholders took the commission to court to stop the then Tier-based recapitalization exercise.

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31st of December, 2020, would have been the deadline for underwriters to have raised 50 per cent of the new capital while the remaining 50 per cent would be expected by September, 2021, if the regulatory body had not suspend the exercise.

However, sources at the Commission told AssurPen Online that the Commission was not surprised why they are afraid because they realized that their ‘black box’ of malpractices that they have perpetuated for many years that has brought bad name to the industry would be opened and all those firms not found fit to operate in the new market would be dispatched to the undertakers.

A top ITC technocrat in the Commission explained that NAICOM has developed a digital transformation template that will enable the Commission to effectively police activities of all operators in the industry -underwriting firms, reinsurers, brokers, loss adjusters and agents.

He told AssurPen Online, Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology to transform services through replacing manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.

It is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how an organization operates and delivers value to its customers.

It involves creativity, innovation and new ways of doing things or doing old things differently with the use of technology rather than enhancing and supporting traditional ways of doing things digitally.

The organization that will survive the 21st century must embrace digital transformation, therefore NAICOM is leveraging on technology and data for the transformation of its processes, drive its regulatory and supervisory functions, increase operational efficiency and improve its corporate outcomes.

Examples of digital transformation/technologies includes cloud computing, business process management, portal technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile internet technologies etc

NAICOM is undergoing transformation from the inside out and the target is to ultimately achieve an end to end automation of all its processes
According to him, the Commission is not interested in any insurance company operating in the market. To loose it’s license, but the fact remain that players must operate according to the rules, besides, insurance companies should merge their operations to enable them operate in the new dispensation.

The Covid 19 Pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies as companies move their business online, staff work remotely from home and video conferencing and online meetings are part of the new normal. Technology based companies are declaring bumper profit while traditional organizations are laying off staffs and declaring bankruptcy.

Digital Transformation involves different thinking, presents new opportunities, encourages innovation, creates new business processes and models, improves customer experiences and shifts organizational culture.



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