By Henry Uche, [email protected]
The National Pension Commission (NAICOM) has launched a portal to ease underwriting operations for players, operators and other stakeholders in the insurance sector.
Speaking at the launch, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said the portal was one of the initiatives of the Commission designed to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to a level consistent with the nation’s economy.
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Developed in July 2009, for a comprehensive computerisation tagged- “Project e-regulation” it was geared towards transforming its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities to provide a robust, world class ICT Infrastructure and help implement an automated business processes internally and for industry wide supervision via an integrated platform.
He affirmed that prior to the development, the processing of applications required applicants to physically drop their applications at the Commission with attendant challenges of delays in processing times, wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system. “With the completion of the portal, there will be process efficiency and faster processing time as applications and supporting documents are submitted online, applicant’s account is updated with the status of the application as it progresses and there is effective real-time communication between NAICOM and the applicant.
“The Portal provides a Platform for interconnectivity by all industry stakeholders to support real-time aggregation of data on policies at the time of underwriting and policy issuance. Each policy will be issued with a unique policy ID that will be associated with the policy for the life time of the policy,”
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He revealed that the Portal has four systems viz: ‘The Policy System’- which captures all insurance policies issued in Nigeria online real time via Application Programming Interface (APIs). It generates a unique policy identification number for all issued policies necessary to ensure fidelity and validity of all policies in the country and manages information on all insurance policies and premiums. It enables insurance customers and third-party entities such as Law Enforcement Agencies to query and validate insurance policies.
The second system is the ‘Licensing System’ which he said automates the core business processes of Registration/ Renewal of Licenses, New Products, AIP no objection & Attestation approvals at NAICOM. All of these application processes will proceed digitally from the application stage where all supporting documents are provided, to the review stage, the approval stage and license generation where applicable.
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The other system is the ‘Complaints Management System’, a customised solution designed to help the Commission manage complaints and handle issues seamlessly as well as ensure that insurance companies are performing highly and clients are serviced adequately. The system is also designed to integrate directly with NAICOM existing database, utilizing existing records of customers and insurance companies; it incorporates multiple channels for initiation of complaints including Social media applications (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter), Direct action on the complaint portal, Walk-in complainants, Regular media, Emails &SMS (Short Code) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
“Regulatory Returns and Financial Analysis is a system that provides the platform for the submission of all Insurance Industry Regulatory returns and compliance electronically. The financial analysis module aims at automating financial analysis, credit control functions, computation of levies, and providing adequate and timely information to support management decision-making as well as serve as a central repository for current and historical financial information about the Insurers, Re-insurers, Brokers and Loss Adjusters.”
Funded directly by Africa-Re Foundation- the African Reinsurance Corporation (African Re) the Portal would improve efficiency and effectiveness in supervisory and regulatory oversight of the Nigerian Insurance Industry.