Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc has emerged winner of the most innovative insurance company in Africa award.
The award, which was the maiden edition to be organised by the Africa Insurance Organisation (AIO) was given to the company at the recent AIO conference held in Tunisia.
It was packaged in three categories namely Chief Executive officer of the year award, Insurance Company of the Year Award and Most Innovative Company in Africa Award.
Sponsored by the Africa Reinsurance Corporation, the award was given to Mutual Benefit based on its commitment in using insurance as a medium to substantially contribute to the well being of Nigerians.
Showcasing the plaque to journalists in his office in Lagos,Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefit, Akin Ogunbiyi said the award was a good recognition for effort and initiative of his company as well as a good recognition for Nigeria Insurance market.
He also said it was a good recognition for the National Insurance Commission as a regulator for its dynamism and good leadership quality arguing that there will be no recognition of the individual companies if the regulator was not recognised.
He thanked NAICOM for its initiative of the Market Development and Restructural Initiative (MDRI), adding that it served as a spring board that lifted his company up to where it is today.
He said Mutual Benefit in 2002 made a paradigm shift in its marketing approach adding that this saw the company looking at the demographics of the Nigerian population and realised that insurance has remained the preserve of the elites because the operators have been very comfortable with the corporate accounts they have while leaving the informal sector behind.
According to him, the result of this is that the industry contributes o.5 percent to the GDP of the economy while insurance gap has remained as high as 96 percent which according to him means that only about 4 percent f the total population has insurance cover.
He said in its quest to meet the target set by the commission in the MDRI initiative which is to transform Nigerian insurance market into a trillion Naira market, Mutual Benefit decided to go by the way of grass root mobilisation in insurance distribution and marketing.
Furthermore, he said the company moblised its agents and workforce to take insurance out of cities to grass root dwellers who constitute 60 percent of the working population
Ogunbiyi said currently with waves made by Mutual Benefit Assurance in rural areas where it sited most of its ranch offices, the company us now regarded as apostle of grass root insurance.
He said the company currently has about 80 branches with 52of them located in rural areas.
He said with the rural market adventure made by the company, its clientele base in these areas has seen it writing about 2.5 million policies in life assurance under one year Just as it has pushed out 72 new products into the market.