Insurance industry in Nigeria cannot exist in isolation. It has to exist within the framework of the economy, and there is need for regulation of the practice of insurance in any economy. The objective of insurance associations in Nigeria is to complement the efforts of the government in upholding the operational standard within the insurance market. The insurance associations in Nigeria are:
- Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA).
- Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB).
- Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria.
- Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.
- National Insurance Commission.
A) NIGERIA INSURERS ASSOCIATION (NIA)
This is the central professional body of registered insurance companies in Nigeria. It was formed in 1971 with the following roles:
- To liaise with government on issues affecting insurance business in Nigeria especially as it relates to their members.
- To guide their members in complying with all of the laws regulating insurance business in Nigeria.
- To create better understanding of insurance by all sections of the community.
- To support or co- operate with other associations or similar bodies with regard to the matter of mutual interest.
- To collect, collate and disseminate statistical information relating to insurance.
- To prescribe and enforce self regulation and code of ethics.
- To perform functions of industrial relations on behalf of their members.
MEMBERSHIP OF NIA
Decree 1991 made the membership of NIA compulsory, but at present under the 1997 insurance decree, the membership of Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) is not compulsory but voluntary.
The following technical committees function under the umbrella of this association:
- Marine offices committee.
- Life offices committee.
- Accident offices committee.
- Fire offices committee.
- Legal committees.
- Accounting technical committee.
- Complete technical committee.
These committees are responsible for advising the governing council of the association on technical and professional matters relating to their various fields.
The organs of Nigeria Insurers Association are:
- The chief executives of all insurance companies, holding membership of the association.
- The governing council headed by the chairman.
B) NIGERIAN COUNCIL OF REGISTERED INSURANCE BROKERS (N.C.R.I.B)
This is the association of all professional insurance intermediaries known as insurance brokers. It was founded in 1962 and incorporated in 1967 in response to a situation where many intermediaries flooded the industry to exploit the ignorance of the insuring public and make quick money.
MEMBERSHIP OF N.C.R.I.B
The Insurance Act 2003 made the membership of the association compulsory for any insurance broker to be able to practise in Nigeria. There are two classes of membership, which are
- Corporate members.
- Professional title for individuals engaging in insurance broking with the description of their titles as: fellow, associate, ordinary or student members.
The association is headed by the president and other council members, with administrative functions performed by the executive secretary.
ROLES OF N.C.R.I.B
- To establish and maintain a central organization for insurance brokers practising in Nigeria.
- To collect and disseminate information regarding all matters relating to insurance practice in Nigeria.
- Spread out duties and obligations of insurance brokers through lectures, seminars, journals, etc.
- To formulate and maintain standard of conduct for members to encourage professionalism.
- To co-operate with government and other institutions and professional bodies on achieving the objectives of the association.
C) INSTITUTE OF LOSS ADJUSTERS OF NIGERIA (ILAN)
This institute was formed in 1981 as a professional association of all registered loss adjusters in Nigeria. The loss adjuster helps the insurance industry in the area of claim investigation and pre- insurance risk survey. It aims at providing the required professional training for its members.
MEMBERSHIP OF ILAN
Membership is of two categories. The first is the association of all corporate loss adjusting firms in Nigeria that have been duly registered by National Insurance Commission.These are corporate members of the Institute. The second class of membership of the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria is divided into five categories – Life, Fellows, Associates, Licentiates and Student Members. Today, the institute has thirteen Fellows, thirty-one Associates, seventy-two Students and thirty-three Corporate members.
The aims and objectives of the association are:
- To establish and sustain a professional body of practising loss adjusters in Nigeria.
- To establish and maintain institution libraries, schools and recreation centers for assistance in the education of its members.
- To provide unified codes of conduct for its members.
The contributions of ILAN to the insurance industry in Nigeria have been so remarkable that it has greatly improved the public image of insurers. The adjusters continue to enlighten the public on the limitations of their policies at the times of claim settlement and to give them further advise for better policy cover, thereby reducing the number of insurance litigations arising from claim disputes in the country.
D) NATIONAL INSURANCE COMMISSION (NAICOM)
The National Insurance Commission was set up by Decree No. 1 of 1997 with a mandate to ensure the effective administration, supervision, regulation and control of insurance business in Nigeria. The decree replaced an earlier Decree No. 62 of 1992 that established the National Insurance Supervisory Board (NISB).
It regulates the insurance practice as it affects the insurance and reinsurance companies, insurance intermediaries (brokers and agents) and loss adjusters. The governing board manages and controls the activities of the commission. The governing board comprises the following:
- Commissioner for Insurance.
- Two Deputy Commissioners.
- A part-time chairman.
- Seven other persons representing Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, and three others representing the civil society.
The board as currently constituted is led by the Chairman.The commission is empowered to establish a bureau which investigates the complaint of members of the public against any insurer, reinsurer, insurance intermediaries and loss adjusters.
FUNCTIONS OF NAICOM
The commission performs the following functions:
- Establish standards for the conduct of insurance business in Nigeria;
- Approve rates of insurance premiums to be paid in respect of all classes of insurance business;
- Approve rates of commissions to be paid in respect of all classes of insurance business;
- Ensure adequate protection of strategic government assets and other properties;
- Regulate transactions between insurers and reinsurers in Nigeria and those outside Nigeria;
- Act as adviser to the Federal Government on all insurance related matters;
- Approve standards, conditions and warranties applicable to all insurance businesses;
- Protect insurance policy-holders, beneficiaries and third parties to insurance contracts;
- Publish for sale and distribution to the public, annual reports and statistics on the insurance industry;
- Liaise with and advise federal ministries, extra-ministerial departments, statutory bodies and other government agencies on all matters relating to insurance contained in any technical agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory;
- Contribute to the educational programmes of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.
E) CHARTERED INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (C.I.I.N)
This institute was established in 1959 and became chartered in 1993 following the enactment of Chartered Insurance Institute Decree No. 22 of 1993. It is an educational body set up to promote insurance education and professionalism. It provides the avenue for exchange of ideals among insurance practitioners.
FUNCTIONS OF C.I.I.N
- It provides insurance education and professional training including conduct of examinations.
- It determines the standards of knowledge and skill as well as reviewing of insurance practice in general.
- It ensures the maintenance of a roster of practitioners and members.
- It promotes professional insurance and reinsurance practices in Nigeria.
The administrative head of the institute is the director- general who is also the chief executive officer. The membership of the institute is open to all Nigerians and non-Nigerians working in insurance industries or studying insurance in various institutions.