Veritas Kapital Insurance saw its profit rise by an impressive 732 per cent to N301 million in the first quarter of 2021, against the N37 million recorded for the same period last year.
The financial report released to the market and seen by Business A.M. shows that gross premium written and gross premium income surged, reaching N1.8 billion and N1.83 billion against the N1.09 billion and N681 million respectively, during the same period last year.
The reinsurance expenses in the early months this year totalled N336 million, indicating an increase from last year’s N219 million and leaving the net premium income to close at N1.49 billion in 2021. Following a N41 million deduction in fees and commission income, the net underwriting income came to N1.5 billion.
Underwriting expenses valued at N389 million represent a significant improvement from the previous year’s. However, investment income declined to reach N65 million against previous year’s at N112 million, while the profit before tax for the period under study was valued at N436 million from N53 million last year.
The insurance underwriter recently launched an innovative WhatsApp platform to allow customers to purchase insurance policy in five minutes. This, it said, is part of the company’s mission of putting insurance at the fingertips of every Nigerian as it is designed to suit household, businesses and accidents, amongst other insurance products.
While it has been well received by industry watchers as it allows buyers to purchase an insurance policy on the go, some experts have raised concern on the possibility of claim payment via WhatsApp.
Commenting on how a policy roadmap can unlock growth for Nigeria’s insurance industry in an interview monitored by Business A.M., Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon, a consultant, pointed out that the attraction for insurance has to be there for insurtech to push and scale up, as aggregator may be the starting point to experience insurtech.
“Getting to use insurance platform to sell insurance is the easier path. The issue is, can insurance firms pay claim via WhatsApp? If they can’t do that, it means the continent we are trying to build will be bartered. Another important question we need to ask ourselves is: Will insurtech, indeed, trigger insurance penetration? Because the idea of insurtech is to enable what you are doing,” he said.
From the regulatory side, he pointed out the need to capitalize on the regulatory sandbox by NAICOM and accommodate people who have ideas about how insurtech can deliver. “I believe insurtech can deliver but the enthusiasm we are using gives me concern because we should not fail at the end. If we fail to use insurtech to deliver on claims, then I don’t think we should even start. There are all sorts of possibilities on claim, but the issue is if we want to do it.
“The regulatory sandbox is there but maybe we need a private sector platform that will connect with the regulatory sandbox to make sure that it happens,” he added.