NICO General boasts of 36 percent market share, bemoans negative attitude

Nico General Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed Nico Holdings Limited,  has attributed its dominance in the insurance industry to innovations and ability to stick to principles in what is usually regarded as chaotic market.

Nico General stick to principles in what is usually regarded as chaotic market

The insurance firm controls 36 percent of the market share out of 8 players in the industry, making it a main market leader.

NICO’s Chief Executive Officer, Donbell Mandala speaking during a farewell party for the company’s Assistant General Manager responsible for Central and Northern Regions, Master Mbale in Lilongwe on Friday, said the company has been making incredible strides and that its products on the market are reaping fruits.

Mandala singled out one product, Mtetezi insurance cover as one of the initiatives that has set the company apart from other insurance providers.

“We are the only company that has interests of our farmers at heart. Malawi is an agriculturally-driven economy and we found it appropriate that we introduce an insurance policy which our farmers can benefit from,” said Mandala.

Mtetezi insurance cover was launched in 2012, at first, to protect tobacco farmers against loss or damage to their crop, which is the country’s main foreign exchange earner. The policy cover has since been extended to other crops like beans, bananas and rice, among others.

The insurance policy serves as surety on loans advanced to them by financial institutions and as an indemnity vehicle in case of accidental damage, loss or theft of their crops.

“As market leader, we remain to be the only company that pays claims to its clients within a period of 7 days, beating the Reserve Bank of Malawi’s set directive of 14 days. New customers coupled by introduction of new products, we have managed to maintain our market dominance,” added Mandala.

In his words, Mbale said the company has managed to penetrate central and northern region due to its strictness on adhering to principles governing the insurance industry.

“Lilongwe is regarded as a competitive market, but we have managed to make cement our position. As a company, we emphasize on the need to pay the premium on time and practice prudence and ensure we pay compensations on time as stipulated by the central bank. And we have well trained people to help us deliver,” explained Mbale.

“The only challenge we face as insurance company is people’s negative attitude towards insurance policies. This has been a challenge but through our various products and services we help them understand the importance of insurance. This is why we are able to register profits and increase our customer base.”

Mbale who has been with Nico for 22 years, has been transferred to Blantyre where he will be assistant general manager operations. Zalimba Makawa is taking over as assistant general manager responsible for Central and Northern Regions.

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