IEI pledges climate change support with innovative products, prompt claims payment

From Left: The Managing Director/CEO, Olasupo Sogelola; Chief Financial Officer, Norrenberger Group, Queen Ehi-Uujamhan; Group Managing Director, Norrenberger Group, Tony Edeh; and Chief Operating Officer; International Energy Insurance, Uyi Osagie during the 50th Conference and Annual General Assembly of African Insurance Organisation (AIO) held at Mecure Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia.

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International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc, a subsidiary of Norrenberger Group is adjusting its models of product offerings and risk management capabilities to respond to climate change.

This is coming on the heels of global calls on the private sector to rise against the ills of natural disasters ravaging Africa and now Nigeria, as a result of climate change.

Speaking on the sideline of the just concluded 50th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation AIO with theme “Coping With Rising Natural Catastrophes In Africa” which held last week in Windhoek, Namibia, the Group said insurers across the continent also need to rethink their models, product offerings and risk management capabilities to adjust it in a way that they respond to the reality of time.

The Group Managing Director, Norrenberger Group, Mr. Tony Ede who was a delegate at the AIO Conference said the topic of the program couldn’t have come at a time that is better than now.

He stated that global natural disaster is taking place repeatedly resulting in the world losing $380 billion in 2023, with losses emanating from insurance at about $118billion.

He said this is why the AIO began to rethink natural disasters and it is important that all insurance companies too should begin to rethink their models to withstand changes in the global economy.

He stressed that natural disasters and climate change have come to stay.

The Managing Director/CEO, International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc, Mr. Olasupo Sogelola on his part said insurance has to move towards supporting climate change, starting from the impact of climate change especially on agricultural products in Nigeria.

Mr. Sogelola said IEI is coming up with products that would enhance and support climate change in all ramifications.

He said: “Take Namibia for example, entering into the country from the airport, you will see patched land that shows that obviously something is wrong there. I believe that nothing draws attention more than what you see rather than what you are talking about without seeing it.

“So, insurance has to move now, starting from the impact of climate change even on agricultural products in Nigeria. Agric insurance is something that has to respond quickly at the moment along with other classes of insurance. As insurance experts at the conference discussed, there are six agendas that the conference is looking at and top of agenda is pulling resources together to start looking at what has to change in insurance.

“For example, we got to start rewarding people for having properties that are energy compliant because properties with solar panels are part of the things that will reduce the impact of climate change. We have to start giving discount such that when we are quoting for a fire policy, we give discount because the policyholder has a solar panel.

“For us at IEI, we are coming up with products that would enhance and support climate change in all ramifications. We have two important goals at IEI. The first is about our value proposition to the system which is to pay claims as quick as possible. The second is about product creation. I believe that this program has come at a time where we start looking at products that helps to improve and draws attention to climate change so that when you come to my company to buy a policy, the moment you tell me you have a solar panel then we will be able to give you discount when agreed with other insurers in the country”.

Speaking on IEI’s financial performance, he said the company has witnessed tremendous growth in its first quarter result.

He disclosed that the company’s premium income has grown by over 300 per cent in the first quarter of this year, better than what was achieved in first quarter 2023.

I can say categorically that we are moving forward and by the end of the year, we should be coasting very well.

On climate change funding issues, the Chief Finance Officer, Norrenberger Group, Queen Ehi-Uujamhan stated that climate change is a very topical issue because the impact is seen all around like flooding, drought among others.

She posited that funding for climate change is something that the multilaterals, individuals, government and the private sector have to look at from a holistic point of view.

“Currently we have the multilaterals like African Development Bank providing grants. I think the very prudential thing for government and others to do is to provide funding to areas that are prone to disasters. They need to make funds available for renewable energy and irrigation to militate against drought.

“The private sector on its part should look at it from a three piece perspective. We all want to be profitable but in being profitable we have to look after the planet and the people. I believe that this is a very holistic way of funding. The multilaterals will continue to provide funding, responsible government also need to make those provisions and subsidies available. For the private sector like us, the insurance impact has to be taken seriously even as we ensure that we remain profitable while protecting the planet and her people”, she added.

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