Life Insurance Sales In Nigeria: ‘Huge Untapped Market’

Life Insurance Sales In Nigeria: ‘Huge Untapped Market’

Established in 2010, Nigeria’s FBN Life Assurance Co. has broken even in record-breaking time, earning it a “Rising Star” trophy from part-owner Sanlam Group of South Africa, according to a report in BusinessDay.

Sanlam, one of the largest financial services groups in South Africa, is a 35 percent shareholder in FBN, which sells life insurance in Nigeria.

The Nigerian company has broken even two years and three months after its establishment – a record-breaking achievement – Sanlam said in the report. It takes most insurance companies five years or more to break even and record a profit, the report said.

The Nigerian company ranked No. 1 among Sanlam’s investments in 11 countries including Uganda and East Africa.

Nigeria has huge growth potential with a growing gross domestic product that analysts predict will exceed South Africa’s within 10 years, said Heinie Werth, CEO of Sanlam Emerging Markets.

“(The) South African market has an insurance penetration of 10-11 percent, whereas Nigeria is less than 2 percent, so we’ve seen huge untapped market in the most populous country in Africa,” he said.

Val Ojumah, managing director and CEO of Nigeria FBN Life, said the company is preparing to expand into composite underwriting before the end of 2013.