From left: Group Executive Director, Operations, Royal Exchange Plc, John Iwuajoku; Benjamin Agili, Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited; Group Managing Director, Royal Exchange Plc, Wale Banmore; Executive Director, Nelson Akerele and Group Head, Corporate Communications, Wilson Okoh-Esene at the event in Lagos.
* First-ever insurer to launch Hybrid Index insurance in Nigeria
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) Limited said as part of deepening its foothold in the agribusiness space, it is poised to underwrite a minimum of 40,000 farmers in 2020.
Its Managing Director, Benjamin Agili, disclosed this at a press conference yesterday in Lagos, stressing that the firm has already achieved 20 per cent of the one million set target for fives years.
“Having gone through the past year and entertaining a great of learnings, we are evermore committed and determined to deepening our foothold in the agribusiness space in 2020 as we target underwriting a minimum of 40,000 farmers within the current calendar year.
“A lot of energies would be devoted in bundling, distributing and selling of our packaged hybrid index insurance products in the market. Important to us would be our ability to possible layer an additional micro-health insurance cover for farmers as part of unique selling proposition this year and in collaboration with our sister HMO company – Royal Exchange Healthcare Insurance . We are excited at the opportunities this partnership would bring to the table,” he said.
On how to achieve the set target for this year, he said there would be marketing communication agenda and several trainings on use of index based insurance to tackle climate change to bridge the knowledge gap and understanding amongst small holder farmers, farmer cooperatives, aggregators and other key players. “Actors would equally be trained on the adoption and use of our agritechtools as a business enabler to their businesses in managing their farm portfolio remotely and improving data collation for underwriting of their risks and remote monitoring of their portfolio,” he added.
According him, the firm intends to go beyond its offerings of index based crop insurance solutions to farmers to introduction of new index-based and indemnity livestock insurance products for both smallholder pastoralists and commercial livestock breeders.
This move, he said is poised to broaden opportunities for the firm in the livestock market. He added that it is going to be a very busy year for the firm on all fronts, adding that asides agriculture, the company would be pushing its mobile insurance initiative and footprint to address issues of access to retail insurance services by the public.
Agili maintained that the company’s efforts have started paying off as REGIC was able to launch two variants of her agricultural index insurance products in 2019 under her “SMART AGRIC” stable; namely the Hybrid Index Insurance (HII) for small-holder farmers and our enhanced Multi-Peril Crop Insurance cover (MPCI) embedded with Weather Index Insurance (WII)) for medium scale producers and crowd-funding agribusinesses.
“Crucial to achieving these milestones were our strategic business partnerships with NIRSAL, AFEX commodity exchange, Bijan Farms, Green Eagles Agribusiness Solutions to mention a few,” he added.
He posited that having worked over a span of two years with NIRSAL developing and perfecting the initial designs and features of its first index product variant – the Hybrid Index insurance (HII) – the firm was able to launch same product in the 2019 wet-planting season; making Royal Exchange the first-ever insurer to launch this climate change protection package for the Nigerian market.