The management of Universal Insurance Plc says the company’s policy of prompt payment of all genuine claims have continued to pave the way for the insurance firm as its policyholders have been commending it, while new customers are making the organisation their choice.
The company’s managing director, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, said that the company is presently meeting all its obligations, especially in the area of prompt claims settlement to clients and other stakeholders, adding that the insurer is liquid enough to discharge its responsibilities as the need arises.
“We have a competitive edge in claims settlement through investment in state of the art communication and information technology thereby enhancing our operational efficiency and offer to pay off legitimate claims in a jiffy after the execution of discharge voucher. We have a tractable but reduced claims process circle,” the CEO said.
Confirming the issue, the Chairman, Manny Insurance Brokers Limited, Kayode Okunoren, said Universal Insurance has a rich heritage of professional practice in Nigeria, stressing that this heritage is being sustained.
“It is the belief of Management that the desire of Universal to forge collaborative relationship with brokers through the Nigerian Council has f Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) platform will be achieved,” he stated.
He said the insurer has etched its name amongst brokers’– friendly companies operating in the country today.
Apart from Okunoren, many brokers equally endorsed the company whilst attesting to how their claims were promptly settled by Universal Insurance Plc, even as they implored other brokers to place their clients’ risks with the company, stressing that, there is no hassle in getting claims paid by the Insurance company.
In a related development, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) a body also known as Nollywood industry, chose Universal Insurance to provide it with Group Personal Accident Insurance policy.
The group has about 150, 000 members spread across the country.
According to the actors, the development was a dream come true for them as they were always exposed to varying degree of occupational hazards without any form of compensation, adding that, the unveiling of the insurance cover for them symbolised unity of purpose and provided sense of belonging.
Speaking on the scheme, Don Pedro Obaseki, Former Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the AGN expressed his delight for the scheme, saying for the first time in the history of AGN, the Actors now have insurance protection, noting that it is a wonderful experience and something the group have been looking forward to.
“It’s commendable and forward-looking and this is going to further leapfrog the industry and Actors Guild into another level in the sense that if you have the history of our members, you find out that Nollywood members always have health-related issues. So this will go a long way to trying to checkmate that and also create other health awareness amongst our members”, Obaseki, Founder/CEO, ACC Broadcast Multimedia Ltd said.
Some of the claimants that have enjoyed the firm’s prompt claims response are: NTA-Star TV Network Limited which got N135.6 million and TVC Atlantic Vacation group, which received N105 million as claims between 2016 and 2020 under the Corporate clients, Akinwekomi Collins Dele received N5.8 million claims even as Pastor Robert Udeagha got settled to the tune of N2.6 million under the Individual Client.
Meanwhile, Universal Insurance Plc has paid N1.2 billion as claims to its affected policyholders in the last five years.
The breakdown of the claims paid shows that the company paid N147.8 billion claims to its policyholders who suffered insured risks in its 2015 financial year, paid N111.1 million in 2016, N330.3 million in 2017, N334.2 million in 2018, while it settled N338.2 million claims in 2019 financial year end, bringing the total claims to N1.2 billion on nine classes of insurance.
Within the period of five years, the company paid N182.3 million claims on Bond, as it paid N11.4 million in 2016, N13.3 million in 2017, N5.9 million in 2018 and N151.7 million in 2019.
Similarly, it settled Engineering claims worth N178.1 million; fire claims to the tune of N412.1 million; general accident claims gulping N299.8 million, while aviation claims amounted to N10 million even as Marine insurance claims was N43.9 million.
Marine Hull insurance attracted N5.6 million claims with motor insurance attracting N156.8 million claims.
The Universal Insurance boss stressed that the firm is liquid to underwrite big insurance businesses in insurance sector of the financial industry, saying, the company is eyeing the retail market and will soon unveil some retail insurance products to deepen insurance penetration.
He added that the company has also imbibed the culture of training and retraining of its workforce as it believes in the human capital development, motivation and empowerment to drive policies and create values.
Universal Insurance, according to him, has equally deployed its personnel effectively to ensure that good hands are always on deck to drive the company’s growth policy to the optimum, a policy that has repositioned the firm on an enviable pedestal among its competitors in the marketplace, adding that, his insurer is now in a vantage position to provide valuable advisory services on clients’ portfolios.
“Universal Insurance serves commercial, institutional and individual customers through an extensive general insurance network, also providing financial services and risk management services nation-wide. The company’s leadership is as a result of its underwriting skills, innovative insurance solutions, financial strength, superior service and prompt claims settlement,” he noted.
Sovereign Trust Insurance Pays Claims From EndSARS Protests, Others Totalling N2.9B
Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc paid claims totaling N2, 900,626,054.21 to various insured spread across the country in 2020, in keeping faith with its promise to pay all genuine claims as and when due.
The company’s Spokesperson, Mr. Segun Bankole pointed out that the underwriting firm is committed to claims settlement as and when due beyond lips service. He stated that the claims experience in 2020 was quite interesting in the sense that the company had to settle some claims that emanated as a result of the civil commotion in the country occasioned by the EndSARS protests in major parts of the country.
He further said that a very significant number of customers have really come to appreciate the role of insurance in their everyday life and that accounted for the sum paid as claims in 2020.
The summary of the claims paid in 2020 shows that Motor had the highest figure of N948 million with energy Insurance ranking second with total claims settled to the tune of N802.3 million. Fire Insurance claims amounted to N562.8 million, while Marine & Aviation claims stood at N284.6 million. The total sum of N236.6 million was paid as claims on General Accident Policy, with Engineering insurance accounting for N66.4 million.
While commenting on the intent of the organisation as regards claims settlement, the Executive Director, Technical Operations, Mr. Jude Modilim had this to say, “there is no compromise to genuine claims settlement in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc because the major focus of the company is to ensure that our teeming customers get to enjoy the benefits of taking out any form of insurance policy with us through prompt settlement of their claims when the need arises. That to us, is the only way to prove that we are well and alive to our responsibilities as an Underwriting Firm in the country. We intend to uphold this obligation and we will always continually strive to make good our promise.
In the same vein, the Managing Director/CEO of the organisation, Mr. Olaotan Soyinka also stated that the company has put in place a friendly-claim-process with the major aim of putting smiles on the faces of its various customers across the country by ensuring that claims are settled within the shortest period possible on completion of all necessary documentation.
Our commitment to uphold the tenets of our Vision and Mission has made the company one of the country’s most relevant and responsive insurance companies in the country. Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is no doubt a formidable force to reckon with in the Nigerian Insurance landscape with a network of offices in all the major cities of the country buoyed by cutting-edge technology in delivering seamless and convenient insurance service to all teeming customers in the country and beyond.
$268b Losses From Natural Disasters Recorded In 2020, With 64% Uninsured
Aon plc has launched its global Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2020 Annual Report. The report evaluates the impact of global natural disaster events to identify trends, manage volatility and enhance resilience.
The report reveals that the 416 natural catastrophe events of 2020 resulted in economic losses of USD268 billion – 8% above the average annual losses for this century – as costs continue to rise due to a changing climate, more people moving into hazard-prone areas and an increase in global wealth. Of this total, private sector and government-sponsored insurance programmrs covered USD97 billion, creating a protection gap of 64%, which is the portion of economic losses not covered by insurance. This highlights the importance of addressing the underserved by ensuring that there is increased access to affordable insurance products in the future.
“The global response to the socioeconomic volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased focus on other systemic risks – particularly climate change – and is causing a fundamental reordering of business priorities. This report highlights the increasing likelihood of ‘connected extremes’ and reinforces that leading organisations of the future will be defined by their ability to manage the global implications of concurrent catastrophic events,” said Greg Case, CEO of Aon. “In a highly volatile world, risk remains ever present, is more connected and, as a result, is also more severe – and 2020 has underscored this reality. It has also emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration between the public and private sectors, which will be essential to close the rising protection gap and build resilience against natural catastrophes.”
During the year, more than 8,000 people lost their lives due to natural catastrophes. Tropical cyclone was the costliest peril, causing more than USD78 billion in direct economic damage. It was closely followed by flooding (USD76 billion) and severe convective storm (USD63 billion). From a climate perspective, NOAA cited 2020 as the world’s second-warmest since 1880 for land and ocean temperatures at +0.98°C (+1.76°F) above the 20th-century average.
Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, commented: “The world continues to evolve as it is faced with new challenges around natural perils. While many private and public sector entities primarily focus on physical and human hazard risks, an increasing number of global regulative bodies are further pivoting towards how to handle emerging transitional and subsequent reputational risks. This is especially true as the financial and humanitarian risks surrounding climate-enhanced events become more evident on a daily basis. Focus at the corporate and federal levels will be critical around investments in risk mitigation, resilience, and sustainability as the landscape around climate change solutions continues to accelerate with renewed urgency.
Significant regional events during 2020 included:
- Costliest year on record for global severe convective storms led by historic U.S. derecho
- U.S. mainland endured a record-breaking 12 named storm landfalls, including six hurricanes
- Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippinesas the strongest landfalling storm ever recorded globally at 195 mph
- Ciara became Europe’s costliest windstorm since Xynthia in 2010
- Drought conditions reduced agricultural crop yields in Brazil and Argentina, burning 30% of the Pantanal Region
The most widespread Yangtze River Basin floods since 1998 caused USD35 billion of economic damage in China’s monsoon season.
Sovereign Trust Insurance Maintains A- Rating With GCR
For over a decade now, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has consistently maintained A- rating with the international rating agency, Global Credit Rating, GCR based in South Africa. Global Credit Rating’s recent solvency and operational report for financial institutions in Nigeria and other allied businesses released in December 2020, indicated that Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc maintained A- rating with the international rating agency, GCR based in South Africa.
Sovereign Trust has consistently maintained the A- rating for more than a decade now.
The rating agency affirmed that the insurance company has great potentials for growth in the years ahead, considering some of the strategies that have been put in place to propel its operations.
GCR noted that the company has shown a great deal of consistency in her claims paying obligations to her numerous customers spread all over the country.
The Report further stated that the listing of the Rights Issue in 2019 helped in increasing the Shareholders’ funds of the company by 33.8% to N7.8b by the end of the Financial year in 2019 as against the figure of N5.8b in 2018.
Consequently, by the Third quarter of 2020, the Shareholders’ funds had increased to N8.2b which also translated to a 31% increase in the same corresponding period of 2019 with a figure of N6.3b.
In the rating agency’s opinion, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is strong in liquidity with more than adequate claims coverage that compares well to industry averages.
The capital adequacy of the Underwriting Firm is considered strong according to the rating report and this is underpinned by the sizeable capital base catering for the quantum of insurance and market risks assumed.
In this regard, the ratio of Shareholders’ funds to NEP, (Net Earned Premium) improved to 189.2% in the Q3 of 2020 as against 130.9% in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
In terms of peer-to-peer performance comparison, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc did very well when compared with other selected insurers in terms of Capital, Total Assets, Gross Premium Income (GPI) and Net Premium Income (NPI).
The company has creatively been able to develop a good mix of its clientele base with personal lines contributing 42% of its Gross Premium Income during the rating period. The introduction of the Enhanced Third-Party Motor Insurance Cover with the acronym E3P in 2019 complemented the efforts of Management at driving retail business initiatives in the industry. Other new retail products are already in the pipeline and will soon be introduced to the market in a not-too-long distant time.
The report also stated that as a result of STI’s increased underwriting capacity and geographical diversification, the organization has developed a sound business profile supported by a moderately strong competitive position and improved brand acceptance hinged on continuous marketing drive and a well-established Brokers’ relationship of diverse business mix.
As observed by the Rating Agency, insurance penetration remains very low in the country at an estimated ratio of 0.5% for general insurance businesses.
Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has over the years demonstrated commitment to optimally maintaining a leading position in the insurance industry in Nigeria.