AIICO Insurance Plc is eyeing the setting up its offshore operations in East and West Africa in a bid to explore opportunities in the African insurance market.
Speaking to journalists at the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) Conference, in Lagos recently, managing director/chief executive officer of the firm, Mr. Babajide Fajemirokun, said the board of the insurer has approved that AIICO takes insurance products and services beyond the shore of the country to other parts of Africa.
This, he said, would allow the underwriter explore opportunities across Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to him, “despite the fact that Nigeria has one of the lowest penetration rates in Africa, we still believe that in terms of our business models to improve the level of diversification, it’s important to look outside.”
He explained that the underwriter is still at preliminary stages of the plan. He added that AIICO is currently reviewing other markets to see the opportunities to expand into those markets, although, affirmed that the management has not concluded on this.
“Our view is that when we look at the digital space and the firms that have come into Nigeria’s digital banking and various other segments, one of the reasons why they are getting the valuations that they are getting is because it’s an African thing. Looking at Africa’s diversity, the business should sufficiently be able to command a premium on the value of the shares,” he pointed out.
Examining the Kenyan market and other markets in East Africa, he said there is a lot of innovation going on in those markets, noting that, Kenya, for instance, has one of biggest in terms of digital instruments, saying, ‘it will be good to explore some of those types of opportunities in those markets.’
The company, he stressed, is looking at East Africa and West Africa as there are interesting opportunities that the firm is looking to explore within those markets.
Earlier, the divisional head, Shared Services, AIICO Insurance Plc, Olusanjo Shodimu, said, the firm is also enlarging its frontiers in the retail market space through embedded underwriting.
To him, “we have adopted two approaches to managing micro insurance. What we are doing is seeking partnership by identifying people operating within the space of business we want to do. There is a new concept called embedded insurance, that is partnering people with large customer base and putting insurance on their platforms.”