The Oldest Insurance Company in Nigeria.

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The history of insurance is Nigeria can be trace to colonial era in 1918 and 1958. The insurance institutions during this period are not really  responsible for the totality of risk, although it formed the basis upon which the modem forms of insurance institutions in Nigeria were established and developed.

After independence in 1960, Nigeria started being in control of its own insurance marketing, nationalizing branches of previously owned colonial policies. Also, as a way to prevent currency outflows abroad, the federal government formed its own insurance markets.

Insurance does a whole lot more than you can know in Nigeria! Not only does it protect you against situations like fires and accidents, but it also protects you and your family from unexpected financial mishaps too.

There are various types of insurance products including: health insurance, automobile insurance, travel insurance, and life insurance.

The oldest insurance company in Nigeria at the Colonia era was originally established for marine business, home, fire and life and travel insurance which protects travelers from Britain to Nigeria and vise versa. It provides cover for accidental damages, emergency evacuation, medical emergencies etc.

The Oldest Insurance Company in Nigeria.

The first and the oldest insurance company in Nigeria is Royal Exchange Assurance Plc  which was established during the colonial era.

As the oldest insurance company in Nigeria Royal Exchange Assurance Plc  started operations in 1918 in Nigeria and was represented by Barclays Bank DCO and on February 28, 1921, converted to a full branch of its then parent company, Royal Exchange Assurance, London.

Royal Exchange Assurance, London, was originally founded in 1720 and was one of the first two insurance companies in Britain to receive legal status via Royal Charter. Originally established for marine business, it expanded within a year to include fire and life insurance as well, thereby becoming Britain’s first composite insurer.

The establishment of the Royal Exchange Assurance branch in Nigeria in 1918 makes it the oldest insurance company in Nigeria and this  was the result of an overseas expansion drive in the early 20th century.

Thus, Royal Exchange Assurance can be said to be the beginning of insurance in Nigeria and today, has one of the largest branch networks in its sector with 16 branches and four (4) business directorates nationwide.

Pursuant to Section 396(2) of the then Companies Act of 1968, our company was, on December 29, 1969, reconstituted and incorporated as a Private Limited Liability Company, the Royal Exchange Assurance (Nigeria) Limited. The company went public on July 18, 1989 and was duly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on December 3, 1990.

In June 2007, Royal Exchange Assurance entered into a merger with African Prudential   Insurance Company Limited and Phoenix of Nigeria Assurance Company Plc.   The merger brought about a significantly stronger company, better positioned to serve the needs of its clientele in the financial services sector.

In June 2008, Royal Exchange Assurance was re-organized into a group structure, whereby the company assumed the role of a holding and asset management company to execute its strategic vision for financial services, namely insurance, funds management, finance and banking, through its five wholly owned subsidiaries namely:

  • Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited, established to carry on the Non-Life Insurance Business of the Group

  • Royal Prudential Life Insurance Plc, established to carry on the life assurance business of the Group

  • Royal Exchange Finance Company, established and licensed to provide a wide range of professional services in the areas of finance and financial advisory

  • Royal Exchange Healthcare Limited, established to provide health management services and healthcare insurance

  • Royal Exchange Microfinance Bank Limited, established and licensed to carry on the business of assisting all enterprises engaged in small scale industries, micro economic activities and co-operative related endeavours.


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