The insurance world in Nigeria is booming and plays a big role in the country’s growing money scene. Lately, it’s been picking up speed, giving people lots of good options for insurance companies that keep getting better and changing to meet what everyone needs.
It’s really important to pick the right one, so you get a lot for what you pay and, most importantly, so you’re covered when you really need it. We’re here to help you understand all about Nigeria’s insurance companies.
From the top 20 insurance companies, we dive into identifying the top players, even breaking down the best and top 5 insurance companies in Nigeria. The intention is to offer clarity and aid in decision-making by presenting you with an updated list for 2024.
So, let’s embark on this journey to explore the intricacies and excellence behind the names of insurance companies in Nigeria.
- Despite being underdeveloped, Nigeria’s insurance industry has been on the rise due to increased awareness and supportive regulatory changes.
- While life insurance is important, general insurance accounts for the majority of the industry’s gross premiums in Nigeria.
- The insurance sector struggles with low penetration rates because many people don’t trust or understand insurance products well.
- There’s a growing demand for new, user-friendly insurance options like digital insurance, and government initiatives like ‘no premium, no cover’ are helping the industry grow.
- Insurance companies are working to offer better services, build trust with customers, and improve their digital platforms to make insurance more accessible and overcome challenges like counterfeit insurance and regulatory hurdles.
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An Overview of the Insurance Landscape in Nigeria
Nigeria’s insurance sector, despite being Africa’s most populous country, is notably underdeveloped. However, recent years have shown a growth trajectory in this industry. A combination of growing awareness and supportive regulatory changes is bringing positive change to Nigeria’s insurance landscape.
While life insurance contributes significantly to the industry’s gross premiums, general insurance holds the lion’s share. Still, low insurance penetration persists due to a lack of consumer trust and understanding of insurance products.
There has been a growing demand for innovative and accessible insurance solutions such as digital insurance to fill the gap. Government policies like ‘no premium, no cover,’ are also boosting insurance sector growth. On the flip side, the prevalence of counterfeit insurance, regulatory limitations, and unstable economic conditions pose significant challenges.
Hence, insurers are now focusing on providing better value propositions, building trust, and enhancing digital platforms to increase accessibility. The road to progress might be long, but the potential is significant in Nigeria’s insurance landscape.
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Types of Insurance Companies in Nigeria
The insurance industry in Nigeria is fast growing, with numerous insurance companies providing a variety of insurance products to both individuals and businesses. In Nigeria, insurance companies are primarily categorized based on the type of insurance they provide.
These companies ensure that the financial risks of individuals, companies, or entities are mitigated by transferring these risks to them. They provide cover for loss arising from unexpected events that might occur. Below are the various types of insurance companies found in Nigeria:
1. Life Insurance Companies
These insurance companies primarily focus on policies that provide financial compensation upon the death of the insured person. The policies under life insurance include term life insurance, whole life insurance, endowment plans, and others. Life insurance companies also offer products related to retirement and pension planning.
2. General Insurance Companies
These companies provide coverage for virtually everything other than life insurance. This includes policies for car insurance, fire insurance, burglary insurance, liability insurance, travel insurance, etc. It provides financial protection against losses due to unforeseen circumstances such as theft, accident, or natural disaster.
3. Composite Insurance Companies
Composite insurance companies offer both life and general insurance policies. This means they combine the functions of both life and non-life insurance. By doing so, they can provide a complete range of insurance products under one roof.
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4. Health Insurance Companies
These are insurance companies that provide coverage for medical expenses. They typically provide packages that cater to individual, family, or corporate health needs. The package might cover hospitalization expenses, outpatient care, medication, and even sometimes preventive health checkups.
5. Reinsurance Companies
This is a type of insurance company that provides insurance to other insurance companies. Reinsurance companies take on a portion of the risks that primary insurers are unable or unwilling to cover. They step in to provide financial backing and share in the risks associated with the insurance policies sold by the insurance companies.
6. Micro-insurance Companies
Micro-insurance companies provide coverage for low-income earners and those living in rural areas. The insurance plans offered by these companies are designed to be affordable, to encourage insurance uptake among lower-income segments of the population.
7. Agricultural Insurance Companies
These companies provide insurance coverage for farmers and agricultural businesses. They cover various agricultural risks, including crop failure due to pests or diseases, and loss of livestock.
8. Mutual Insurance Companies
These are insurance companies owned by the policyholders themselves. Any profits made by these companies are either retained within the company or rebated to policyholders in the form of dividend distributions or reduced future premiums.
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Top 20 Insurance Companies In Nigeria (Updated 2024)
Insurance is an important sector in any economy, as it provides financial protection and risk management to individuals and businesses. The Nigerian insurance market is rapidly developing and becoming more competitive, with several local and international players providing various types of insurance products.
Here is an updated list of the top 20 insurance companies in Nigeria for 2024.
1. First Assurance Plc.
First Assurance Plc., also known as the first indigenous insurance company in Nigeria, was incorporated in 1960 as a private liability company and later converted to a public liability company in 1997.
The company offers an extensive array of insurance products such as motor, marine, fire, life, and general business insurance. It prides itself on a large market share in Nigeria, playing a significant role in the industry.
Notable achievements of First Assurance Plc include the opening of several branches nationwide and the introduction of various digital platforms, demonstrating their innovative leadership and commitment to enhancing customer experience.
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2. Goldlink Insurance Plc.
Goldlink Insurance Plc.was incorporated in 1992 and became a public limited liability company in 2007, subsequently listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The company provides a broad range of insurance products and services, including general insurance, life, and special risks. Goldlink has a substantial share of the Nigerian insurance market, thanks to its comprehensive product portfolio and reliable customer service.
The company has earned numerous awards, notably the African Business Quality Global Gold Award for its commitment to business excellence and innovation, proving its strong reputation in Nigeria’s insurance sector.
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3. Regency Alliance Insurance Plc.
Established in 1993, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc. has since earned a reputation as a dependable insurer for individuals and businesses in Nigeria.
The company provides comprehensive insurance services, ranging from auto and fire to marine and accident policies, assuring their customers of reliable protection. Although exact market share data is hard to come by, Regency Alliance is recognized as a leading player in Nigeria’s insurance sector, standing tall among its contemporaries.
One of the company’s key achievements is its successful public listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2007, symbolizing trust, solidity, and long-term sustainability.
4. Universal Insurance Plc.
Universal Insurance Plc. was initially founded as the British West African Corporation Insurance in 1955. Over time, it evolved to become a Universal Insurance Company in 1961 before its name was changed again in 2007.
Offering products such as motor insurance, fire insurance, life assurance, and marine insurance, it serves a wide customer base, including individual, corporate, and governmental clients. The company may not be the largest insurer in Nigeria, but it’s firmly embedded within the nation’s insurance landscape.
A notable accomplishment for Universal Insurance is its enduring commitment to fulfilling insurance obligations promptly, underpinning a strong customer-focused strategy and solidifying its reputation for reliability in the sector.
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5. African Alliance Insurance Plc
Established in 1960, African Alliance Insurance Plc is considered the first Indigenous insurance company in Nigeria. They provide a comprehensive suite of life insurance and annuity products for individual and corporate clients, alongside offering Takaful (Islamic Insurance) products.
With over six decades of active operations, the firm has gained a significant market share in the Nigerian insurance sector. Their commitment to excellent service and sound business practice has been recognized and acknowledged through various industry awards.
African Alliance Insurance Plc’s notable achievements include maintaining an excellent record in claims payment, which reinforces its strong commitment to clients’ interests.
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6. Niger Insurance Plc
Founded in 1962, Niger Insurance Plc has been delivering trustworthy insurance solutions for nearly 60 years in Nigeria. They offer a diverse product range including general and life insurance products for individuals and corporations.
Despite tough competition, they maintain a steady presence in the market with continuous growth and have achieved considerable market share in Nigeria’s insurance industry. Their focus on maintaining a strong client-centric approach has brought numerous accolades, demonstrating their solid standing in the insurance market.
An essential achievement for Niger Insurance Plc is its ability to innovate, evolve, and improve its product offering in line with modern insurance practices and market trends.
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7. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance
Consolidated Hallmark Insurance is one of the most reputable insurance companies in Nigeria, founded in 2007 through the consolidation of three companies: Consolidated Risk Insurers, Hallmark Assurance, and General Insurance Company.
CHI provides various insurance products including motor, marine, home, travel, and personal accident insurance. Despite the highly competitive insurance sector, CHI holds a substantial market share due to its wide network and commendable customer service.
One of CHI’s notable achievements is its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2008, showcasing its financial strength and transparency.
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8. Cornerstone Insurance Plc
Cornerstone Insurance Plc is a dynamic insurance company founded in 1991 with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. It offers a variety of insurance products and services ranging from life insurance, and general insurance to specialized insurance solutions like health, auto, travel, and annuity.
Despite intense competition in the market, Cornerstone has carved a significant share due to its superior service, integrity, and innovation.
The company’s notable achievement was in 1997, when it became a Public Limited Liability Company and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, making it a trailblazer in terms of transparency and compliance in Nigeria’s insurance industry.
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9. LASACO Assurance Plc
LASACO Assurance Plc, a leading player in Nigeria’s insurance sector, was established in 1979 under the Companies Act 1968. Offering services like risk underwriting, retail insurance, and financial advisory, it provides general and special risk insurance solutions to corporate and individual clients.
Their vast product line includes motor insurance, aviation insurance, marine and cargo insurance, and much more. As of 2018, LASACO holds 4.53% of the market share, confirming its considerable presence in the industry.
It has consistently set new standards for the industry, notable being its initiation of ‘LASACO Blue Support’ offering support to families with persons suffering from Autism in Nigeria.
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10. AXA Mansard Insurance Plc
AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, part of the AXA Group, is one of Nigeria’s leading insurers with a significant market share. Founded in 1989, the company provides both life and non-life insurance products, health insurance, investment management, and financial services.
It has an extensive array of insurance products including auto, life, travel, and home insurance. In 2019, the company recorded gross written premiums of N43.62 billion, indicating a healthy growth rate.
One of its remarkable achievements is its ‘Insurance Made Easy’ initiative which significantly simplifies the insurance process for customers. In recognition of its efforts, AXA Mansard was awarded the ‘Best Insurance Company in CSR’ by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (Lagos State Chapter) in 2018.
11. NEM Insurance Plc
Founded in 1948, NEM Insurance Plc started as a non-life insurance company and has now evolved into a top-tier player in Nigeria’s insurance sector. The company has a broad product range, offering both individual and corporate clients coverage across motor, marine, and aviation insurance, among others.
As of 2020, it controls about 3% of the market share. In its over 70-year existence, NEM Insurance has received numerous awards including the ‘Africa’s Most Innovative Insurance Company Award’ in 2020. The company’s growth is evident in its successful public listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and the milestone of N10 billion share capital achieved in 2020.
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12. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc
Established in 1995, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc is a leading insurance firm in Nigeria. Offering a diverse portfolio of insurance products, it covers life, general insurance, health, and special risks.
With a 2.4% market share as of 2019, Mutual Benefits Assurance is continually enhancing its coverage and footprint in the market.
Noteworthy accomplishments of the company include winning the award for Best Practice in Occupational Safety & Health by Nigeria’s Safety Advocacy & Empowerment Foundation, and initiating the Mutual Benefits Children Education Endowment Scheme, providing financial security for children’s education.
In its 25-year history, the company has delivered a strong financial performance, recording a profit after tax of N4.65 billion in 2019.
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13. Royal Exchange General Insurance Company
Royal Exchange General Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Royal Exchange Plc, has been at the forefront of insurance service delivery in Nigeria since 1918. It offers an array of general insurance services like motor, marine, travel, fire, burglary, bond, and aviation insurance, helping Nigerians guard against financial loss.
Despite its long-standing presence in the Nigerian insurance market, specifics on its market share remain undisclosed. Notably, Royal Exchange has persistently reinvented its services to remain relevant, such as adopting digital channels to reach more Nigerians.
Also, in 2020, it recorded N14.7 billion gross written premium, proving its relevance in the Nigerian insurance sector.
14. Industrial And General Insurance Plc (IGI)
Industrial And General Insurance Plc (IGI) was established in Nigeria in 1992. It offers a diverse range of insurance products and services, including life and general insurance, healthcare, pension management, asset management, and property.
Despite facing operational challenges in the past, it maintains a significant position in the Nigerian insurance industry. As per financial results released in 2020, IGI holds a market share of 2.35%.
Remarkably, IGI was the first Nigerian insurance company to achieve a N10 billion premium income and the first to pay a claim of over N1 billion. Furthermore, IGI is known for pioneering bancassurance in Nigeria.
15. Prestige Insurance Ltd
Prestige Insurance Ltd, formerly Regency Insurance Company Ltd, is a top insurance company in Nigeria, founded in 1986. Known for its expertise in all insurance underwriting fields, the company offers comprehensive products, including Motor Insurance, Fire and Special Risks, Accident Policies, Marine Cargo Insurance, etc.
Prestige’s solid performance in the market, in terms of capital, human resources, and systems, stands it out among its peers. They recently enhanced their share capital from N3 billion to N4.6 billion to continue providing excellent services.
In recognition of their commitment, the company has won numerous awards, including the International Diamond Prize for Excellence in Quality by the European Society for Quality Research.
16. Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc
Established in 1995, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has rapidly evolved to become one of Nigeria’s leading insurance companies. They offer an array of policies covering motor, life, general accident, fire, marine, and special risk insurance.
Sovereign Trust holds a considerable share of Nigeria’s insurance market, continuously expanding its customer base. In terms of financial muscle, they raised their share capital from N5.5 billion to N7.5 billion in 2019.
They’re renowned for timely claim settlement which led to an award for Corporate Excellence in Fast Track Claim Settlement in the Insurance and Pension Awards. A proven commitment to delivering excellent services is one of the reasons why the insurer has achieved considerable growth over the years.
17. Leadway Assurance Company
Founded in 1970, Leadway Assurance Company is one of Nigeria’s leading insurance service companies with a significant market share. Offering a combination of risk transfer packages and risk management consultancy services, the company specializes in life, health, and business insurance solutions.
The wide product offering ranges from personal insurance to motor insurance, marine, and aviation coverage. As a trusted partner to various corporate bodies, Leadway has built a strong reputation by fulfilling big-ticket payout commitments and gaining the industry’s confidence.
Its most notable achievements are in technology adaptation, setting standards for insurance innovation, and having one of the most functional insurance websites in Nigeria.
18. WAPIC Insurance Plc
Established in 1958, WAPIC is a Nigerian multinational insurance company renowned for delivering expert insurance underwriting services. It controls a sizeable market share and specializes in products covering life, general, and special risk insurance.
Their range includes oil & gas, SME, motor, health, home, travel, and life coverage policies. Over time, WAPIC has earned an admirable reputation due to its proficiency and capacity to meet considerable claims promptly.
Their commitment to superior customer experience earned them the West Africa Insurance Company of the Year at the West Africa Innovation Awards 2018. Recently, they have invested significantly in technology, leading the drive towards the digitalization of insurance services in Nigeria
19. AIICO Insurance Plc
AIICO Insurance Plc was established in 1963, making it one of Nigeria’s oldest insurance companies.
This reputable organization provides a wide range of services, including life assurance and annuity, general insurance, and special risks. Its sizable market share has placed it among the top insurance firms in Nigeria.
Notable achievements of AIICO Insurance Plc include being the first insurance company to achieve N1 trillion cumulative gross premium income.
Furthermore, it was the first Nigerian insurance company to be ISO-certified, showcasing its commitment to world-class standards.
20. Anchor Insurance Company Limited
Anchor Insurance Company Limited has carved out a niche in the Nigerian insurance market since its inception in 1989. This reputable firm offers a variety of products, such as fire & special perils, general accident, motor insurance, and oil & gas insurance.
It consistently ranks among the top performers in the insurance industry, attesting to its strong market share. A standout achievement of Anchor Insurance was being recognized as the Best Insurance Company in Prompt Claims Settlement in 2019. This not only enhanced the company’s credibility but also displayed its commitment to fulfilling its promises to its clients.
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Factors to Consider When Selecting an Insurance Company in Nigeria
Choosing an insurance company can be a difficult undertaking. Not only is insurance a complex product to understand, but there are also numerous insurance companies in the market. Here are factors you need to consider when selecting an insurance company in Nigeria:
1. Credibility and Reputation
Do some research about the company to determine its reputation in the market. Read reviews and check how long the company has been in business. An insurance company with a solid reputation is more likely to offer reliable coverage.
2. Financial Stability
Check out the financial stability of the insurance company. In recent years, some insurance companies have failed, leading to a loss of coverage for their clients. You should check the financial health of a company before you buy their policy.
Depending on what you need, you should choose a company that provides a wide range of coverage options. Look at the various plans the company offers and see if they cover all your potential needs.
4. Premium Rates
Another critical element to consider is the cost of coverage. You should compare rates from various insurers to get the best value for your money. Remember, though, that the cheapest policy isn’t necessarily the best one.
5. Customer Service
You should assess the customer service of an insurance company before you choose to do business with them. You want a company that can handle claims quickly and is easy to contact.
6. Claims Processing
Find out how the company handles claims. A company that has a fast and straightforward claims processing system is more appealing to customers.
A good insurance company should be easily accessible either via physical branches or online platforms. This ensures that you can easily make claims or resolve any issues that may arise.
8. Regulatory Compliance
Ensure that the company you are choosing complies with all the regulations set by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) in Nigeria.
9. Company’s Track Record
Look at the company’s history in terms of claim settlement. A company that has a record of settling claims quickly and effectively should be considered.
Check if the company is transparent about its terms and conditions. They should be able to provide clear information about their policy’s coverage, exclusions, premiums, and terms of termination.
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How are Insurance Companies Embracing Digital Transformation?
The rise of digital transformation has significantly reshaped several industries around the globe, and the insurance sector is no exception. Companies are gradually embracing digitalization to enhance their services and operational efficiencies while improving the customer experience and achieving a competitive edge.
To adapt to changing consumer behavior and needs, insurers are incorporating several strategies. Here’s how the insurance sector is harnessing the potential of digital transformation:
1. Automation and AI
Insurance companies are leveraging AI-driven technology to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. Chatbots are being utilized to handle customer queries 24/7, giving faster response times and increased customer satisfaction. Artificial Intelligence is also assisting in the claims process, helping to speed up claims resolution and reduce human errors.
2. Personalized Customer Experience
Digital transformation allows insurance companies to analyze a vast amount of data to better understand their customer’s needs and behavior. By applying analytics and predictive modeling, they can offer personalized services, plans, and premiums that fit their customers’ circumstances and preferences.
3. Mobile Technology
The increasing reliance on smartphones for online transactions has not gone unnoticed by insurers. Many insurance companies have developed mobile apps that allow customers to purchase policies, make claims, and get instant customer support directly from their mobile devices. This convenience not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces the costs and complexities of manual processes.
4. Digital Underwriting
Digital underwriting has replaced the traditional paper-based underwriting process, streamlining and automating the process. By analyzing data and applying algorithms, risks can be assessed more accurately and swiftly, leading to improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.
5. Blockchain Technology
Insurance companies are also exploring blockchain technology for its potential to enhance transparency and reduce fraud. Smart contracts, powered by blockchain, could automate claim payouts, eliminating the need for manual intervention and thus, significantly speeding up the process.
6. IoT Devices
The integration of IoT devices in insurance, especially in health and car insurance, provides real-time data, aiding insurers in pricing premiums accurately and providing personalized coverage based on real usage or behavior.
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Challenges and Opportunities of Insurance Companies in Nigeria
As with any developing economy, Nigeria’s insurance sector faces both numerous challenges and unique opportunities. Insurance penetration remains significantly low in the country, even though it is the most populous in Africa, but this also means the growth potential is vast. Below are some of the challenges and opportunities facing insurance companies in Nigeria.
- Lack of Awareness and Trust: Despite its importance, there is limited public knowledge about insurance, leading to low uptake. Most Nigerians are unaware of the potential benefits insurance policies can offer, especially in terms of mitigating risk. In addition, trust issues plague the industry as customers doubt the ability of insurance firms to fulfill their claims.
- Poor Regulation: The regulatory framework is considered inadequate and inconsistently applied. Lack of regulatory compliance and enforcement undermines the growth of the insurance industry.
- Technology and Digital Infrastructure: Nigerian insurers struggle with outdated technology and poor digital infrastructure. The failure to integrate technology effectively results in inefficient service delivery and a lack of competitive edge.
- Unstable Economic Environment: Nigeria’s volatile economic situation further undermines the growth of the insurance sector. High inflation rates, low disposable income, and an unpredictable political landscape make it difficult for insurance firms to thrive.
- Increasing Middle Class: The growth of Nigeria’s middle class could prove a significant boost to the insurance industry. As their disposable income rises, so too will their demand for insurance policies to protect their wealth.
- Demographic Advantage: With more than half of its population under 30 and a fast-growing population, Nigeria presents a vast untapped market for insurance products, especially in life and health insurance.
- Technology and Insurtech: Despite the current challenges with digital infrastructure, the rise of insurance provides a golden opportunity for insurers. Digital platforms can help insurance companies improve customer service, broaden their reach, and develop more innovative, customer-focused products.
- Regulatory Reforms: Efforts by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to reform and improve the regulatory environment can help create a more enabling environment for insurers.
- Economic Diversification: As Nigeria looks to diversify its economy away from oil, opportunities in other sectors, such as agriculture and real estate, will likely rise, and with them, the need for insurance.
While there are significant hurdles to overcome, the potential in Nigeria’s insurance sector remains enormous. Forward-looking insurance companies that can effectively leverage technology, develop consumer-friendly products, and navigate the regulatory landscape are well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities and spur the growth of the industry in Nigeria.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are insurance companies regulated in Nigeria?
Insurance companies in Nigeria are regulated by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), established under the Insurance Act of 1997. NAICOM oversees the operations of the insurance companies and ensures they abide by the stipulated laws and regulations.
What type of insurance products do companies in Nigeria offer?
Nigerian insurance companies offer a wide array of insurance products ranging from car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, life insurance, business insurance to agriculture insurance, travel insurance, and even pet insurance.
Are insurance companies in Nigeria reliable?
Yes, most insurance companies in Nigeria are reliable. They are regulated by NAICOM which ensures they operate within stipulated guidelines and protect the interests of the policyholders. However, it is always important to do your due diligence before selecting an insurance provider.
Insurance companies in Nigeria play a significant role in risk management and contribute to economic growth. The insurance industry, despite challenges, shows potential for expansion due to increased awareness and favorable government policies.
Nigerian insurance companies, such as Leadway Assurance, AIICO, Custodian, and Allied Insurance, offer diverse services, aiming to meet the varied needs of the population. These services range from life, health, auto, and property insurance to specialized packages for businesses and SMEs.
As trust in the sector grows, it is expected that more Nigerians will begin to leverage these services, solidifying the insurance industry’s importance in Nigeria’s economic structure.