BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
Cornerstone Insurance Plc has said it paid a total of N4.6 billion claims in 2020, while growing its topline to N20 billion within the same year that saw business disruptions from outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Group managing director/CEO of the company, Mr Ganiyu Musa made the disclosure in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja. Musa said Cornerstone has been able to mobilise its capital base above the N9 billion recapitalization requirement by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).
“We are covered. We have no fears. We have shareholders’ funds of about N13 billion. We are fortunate enough to belong to belong to a group where our principal shareholder (African Capital Alliance) has more than $1 billion in assets. Capital is not an issue for us. If there is the business opportunity, we have access to the capital to be able to write the business,” he said in response to my questions.
The group’s CEO said Because of the strength of our balance sheet, our investment yield was also very strong. We had a positive underwriting result. He spoke on the sideline of the Abuja Area Committee AGM/general election of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) recently.
He said the firm also recorded a surge in rates of insurance policy, especially in life insurance in 2020. “Suddenly people saw the value in that. We did see an improvement in the uptake for life insurance even though at the same time we also saw an increase in the claim, essentially not so much from the pandemic but from #ENDSARS protest. We saw a spike in claim from the #ENDSARS protest,” he stated.
Musa said within 2020, the group grew its gross premium by more than 30 per cent and we made a total comprehensive income of almost N3 billion in 2020. “That’s coming in the back of a 2019 that was also a very stellar performance. Our growth is not a paper growth. It is backed by significant increase in our liquidity; not just increase in liquidity, the quality of the assets. That’s why we are able to beat our chest and say that we would settle all your valid claims. In terms of the core tenets of insurance, our word is our bond and we back that word up with our financial standard,” he stated.
He said the company’s operations were never affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year, adding that they never missed any deadline or meeting. Mr Musa said the organization leveraged on its existing robust technology base to conduct its operations. “We had the technology that enabled us to take more transactions in 2020.”
On his part, Cornerstone’s executive director, business development, Mr Chidiebere Nwokeocha said the firm is coming out bigger in 2021 with more technology driven growth. “In 2021 you are going to see a solid Cornerstone so robust, coming out to dominate the industry. By the end of 2021, we are going to be among the first three or first four insurance companies in the country.