NICO proposes insurance products for farmers and crops

Premier insurance services provider, NICO General Insurance Company Limited, has proposed the introduction of insurance products specifically targeting farmers and crops as a catalyst for the growth of the insurance sector in the country.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Don Bell Mandala, made the proposal on Saturday in Lilongwe during an interaction with the company’s brokers, which was aimed at reflecting on their business this year.

NICO General Insurance CEO Donbell Mandala

Mandala’s sentiments come amid latest statistics showing that insurance uptake in Malawi has gone down to 1.8 percent, from 2.5 percent three years ago.

Mandala said the development has brought about the concern that “insurance is not really covered across the country.”

He further said, realizing the concern, NICO General Insurance already began diversifying insurance services to farmers and crops in order to grow the sector, which resulted in the company covering 72, 000 farmers last year alone.

“Penetrating the market has always been a key issue and key challenge. We believe if we improve on growing crop and agriculture insurance, penetration will also improve,” said Mandala.

According to Mandala, one of the main factors that have contributed to dwindling of insurance uptake over the years, especially more recently, is the Covid-19 pandemic which he said has devastated the economy, resulting in some people not having enough income to buy insurance.

However, Mandala said amidst tough business, NICO General Insurance has managed to move on against all odds, registering a growth of 11 percent in premiums, which is above inflation rate hovering at nine percent.

He said NICO is happy with this achievement and optimistic that it would maintain its business pace, having now learnt to work in a Covid environment.

“We just need to improve our performance. And this will come in from our distribution channels. We are expanding our channels, hence the interaction with our brokers. We are also looking at utilizing our processes so much that we save more money and to be able to provide quality services,” Mandala said.

In his remarks, President for Insurance Brokers Association of Malawi, Clement Ndala, commended NICO General Insurance for the interaction, adding that it presented an opportunity to both sides to strategize on how best they would do business amid Covid-19.

“The current environment needs good marketing strategies and had work in order to attract more clients and satisfy them,” said Ndala, who is also the Chief Executive Officer for Trinity Insurance Brokers.

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