Only licensed channels will sell insurance products — NAICOM

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said that henceforth, only channels licensed by the commission could sell insurance products.

The Commissioner for Insurance (CFI), Alhaji Mohammed Kari ,disclosed this at the investiture ceremony of the new Chairman of Nigeria Insurers’ Association (NIA), Mr Eddie Efokoha, in Lagos south west Nigeria on Tuesday.

The Commissioner said the rule followed a notice from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asserting that NAICOM is not in a position to license banks to do anything.

The  insurance companies had engaged banks in channel of marketing insurance products to the populace, which is termed “banccassurance’’.

“Bancassurance’’ is the provision of insurance services through the bank distribution network.

According to Kari, the commission cannot go ahead with such arrangements as NAICOM is banned from licensing banks for banccassurance services.

It can be recalled  that the CBN had in 2014 directed banks to obey the 2010 regulation that barred them from indulging in non-permissible activities, including underwriting and bancassurance.

The CBN also in 2015 issued a new set of guidelines for banks dealing in bancassurance products as part of its measures to effectively regulate transactions on General and Life Insurance among banks.

He, however, said henceforth, any channel intending to trade insurance products of any insurance institution, such institution must ensure the channel was properly licensed by NAICOM.

Efokoha in his acceptance speech, said he would continuously engage tax authorities to amicably resolve all issues on tax.

“On tax matters, we are witness to the lingering issues on the heavy tax burden imposed on insurance industry by Companies Income Tax Act (PITA), 2007.

“This further strengthens the need for the association to collaborate with tax authorities with a view to amicably resolve the matter.
Efokoha is the 22nd President of NIA (NAN)