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TECH REGULATORY UPDATE: REGULATION OF INSURANCE WEB AGGREGATORS IN NIGERIA

posted 2 years ago

Introduction

On February 1, 2022, the primary regulator of insurers in Nigeria, the National Insurance Commission (“NAICOM”) issued the Insurance Web Aggregators Operational Guidelines (“Guidelines”), 2022. The Guidelines serve as a guide for the registration, supervision and monitoring of insurance web aggregators (“Web Aggregators”) in Nigeria and is binding on Web Aggregators and insurers.

In this article, we have highlighted the requirements for obtaining a Web Aggregator’s License as well as other key points in the Guidelines.

What is a Web Aggregator?

A Web Aggregator is a company licensed by NAICOM to own or maintain a website that provides information to the general public on insurance products, prices and features of various insurance companies.

The Web Aggregator’s website enables interested individuals to compare the products, prices and conditions offered by different insurance companies to make an informed decision. The contact information of clients/ visitors of the website (volunteered to the Web Aggregator in exchange for information on insurance products) are then shared with insurers as leads in return for a commission.

Web Aggregators are required to enter into Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with insurers that require their services. They are also required to set up a Leads Management System (a software) for recording, filtering, validating and distributing leads to the insurers.

What is the Procedure for Obtaining a Web Aggregator’s License?
Companies that intend to carry on business as Web Aggregators are required to apply to NAICOM for a Web Aggregator’s License. Insurers/ brokers that intend to carry on web-based insurance business by partnering with Web Aggregators are also required to submit an application to NAICOM for the issuance of a No Objection Letter. The application for a Web Aggregator’s License is to be carried out in the stages as outlined below.

Stage 1: The entity applying for a Web Aggregator’s License (“Applicant”) is required to submit: (i) a No Objection/ approval letter from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); (ii) a letter of appointment issued by the insurer/ brokers appointing the Applicant as a Web Aggregator for its products; (iii) a copy of the SLAs executed between the insurers/ brokers and the Applicant; (iv) the incorporation documents of the Applicant; (v) a board resolution backing the partnership of the Applicant with the insurers/ brokers; and (vi) evidence of payment of a non-refundable fee of N500,000/ $1,1901 [1], to NAICOM.

Stage 2: Upon submission of the documents listed in stage 1 and at the indication of NAICOM, the Applicant will be required to submit further documents including:(i) the CVs and credentials of the principal officers and directors of the Applicant; (ii) snapshots of the content of the Applicant’s proposed website and evidence of domain name registration by the Applicant; (iii) the business plan of the Applicant which shall include the five-year financial projection of the Applicant; (iv) sworn declaration of non-disqualification by the proposed directors of the Applicant; (v) Evidence of procurement of a professional indemnity cover of not less than N20 Million; and (vi) other required documents.

Stage 3: This stage involves a physical verification by NAICOM officials of the Applicant’s head office and IT infrastructure. The Applicant will also be required to pay a license fee of N2,500,000/$5,952. Where the application is accepted by NAICOM, the license will be issued to the Applicant.

It is important to note that a Web Aggregator’s License is valid for a period of 2 (two) years after which it will require renewal.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for the Grant of a Web Aggregator’s License?
1. Share Capital requirement-The Applicant will require a minimum share capital of N5,000,000 and is required to maintain the share capital throughout the license period.
2. Memorandum of Association- the Applicant is required to ensure that the business of web aggregation is included as the main object in its memorandum of association. The applicant is also not permitted to engage in any business other than web aggregation.
3. Principal officer – the Applicant is required to employ a principal officer (subject to the approval of NAICOM). The Guidelines require the principal officer to satisfy the fit and proper persons criteria laid down by NAICOM and to possess a relevant university first degree qualification and IT-related qualification and/ or relevant training experience.

What are the Non-Permissible Activities of a Web Aggregator?

The Guidelines preclude Web Aggregators from exclusively promoting the products of only one insurer. They are also prohibited from displaying on their websites, any information pertaining to the products and services offered by financial or Fast Moving Consumer Goods Companies or other products or services asides from insurance products. Web Aggregators are also prohibited from displaying adverts of any sort, including adverts of insurance products on their websites.

In addition, Web Aggregators are prohibited from using multiple websites or collaborating with other entities (whether licensed or unlicensed) for the generation of leads. They are also precluded from using other social media sites apart from their website for the conduct of business.

Conclusion

It is advisable that companies that already conduct business as Web Aggregators take note of the provisions of the guidelines and apply for a Web Aggregator’s License as instructed by NAICOM. Web Aggregators will also require the services of a licensed Data Protection Organization to ensure the protection of personal data of their clients which will be shared with insurers as leads.

If you require further clarification in respect of the foregoing, please reach out to us at info@Pavestoneslegal.com. Pavestones is a full-service law practice and a licensed Data Protection Compliance Organization in Nigeria.

[1] Exchange rate of N420- $1

 

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