Niugini Assurance’s CEO lays out plans to continue its strong growth


Since launching as the new kid on the block in 2020, Nuigini Assurance has become a significant player in the country’s competitive insurance sector. Shareholder and interim CEO, Opi Loi, walks Business Advantage PNG through the key drivers of its success so far, and its plans for growth.

Niugini Assurance’s Opi Loi

Business Advantage BNG (BAPNG): How has Niugini Assurance’s business grown in the past three years?

Opi Loi (OL): By aggressively targeting on a direct basis the state-owned enterprises (SOE) market – of which we now control 99 per cent. We’ve managed to grow our annual gross written premium (GWP) from K8 million in our first year of trading to K18 million last year.

Our original focus on the SOE market resulted from an unwillingness by brokers to deal with us, as an unproven entity they knew little about. Attractive pricing aside, what’s helped us win over the SOE market was our ability to tap into the networks of our leadership team. Given that this business is relationship-driven, the team’s vast experience working within Papua New Guinea’s insurance sector has proven to be invaluable.

‘We will have an online portal available by year’s end, which means those in the regions will be able to access our products via mobile phone’

BAPNG: Where do you see future growth coming from?

OL: While we expect to maintain our existing book of SOE clients, we recognise that they won’t be with us for life. As a result, Plan B is all about winning new business within new markets, which will see us extend beyond the capital centres where the bulk of our business comes from.

That means constantly stepping up our game, not just with traditional insurance products, but within rural areas by tailor-making products for SMEs. We will have an online portal available by year’s end which means those in the regions will be able to access our products via mobile phone, and this is as another driver of long-term growth.

BAPNG: What sort of growth are you targeting this year?

OL: By making inroads into the resources sector, we expect to grow our GWP from K18 million to K30 million this year. While we’re consciously avoiding high-risk areas like marine fishing, open-pit mining and big rigs, we’re working quietly on targeting big projects in the energy sector.

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‘We’d like to see foreign reinsurers – beyond the government-owned Pac Re – enter the PNG market.’

As a case in point, we’re reaching out direct to our existing contacts within early works contractors/landowner companies to Papua LNG that are required to have both workers compensation and public liability insurance as a pre-condition to being licensed for this work.

BAPNG: How has you relationship with brokers improved since those early days?

OL: Based on our track-record with SOE’s, we’re now getting business from a growing number of brokers, who are starting to recognise our ability to compete with bigger players. This is helping to open up our revenue base to commercial lines.

While private medical and motor vehicle insurance markets account for most of our claims, the bulk of premiums is coming from property.

BAPNG: What key issues is the sector currently dealing with?

OL: Even though we’ve been licensed to operate, foreign-owned companies are reluctant to deal with us. Given that the majority of reinsurance contracts are handled by offshore insurers through onshore brokerages, we’d like to see foreign reinsurers – beyond the government-owned Pac Re – enter the PNG market. While some overseas reinsurers have expressed interest in entering PNG, the requirement for the local entity to own 51 per cent could put them off.


  1. Bata Josh says

    Another success story that appears to been made possible only by government / political force behind the scene. 🤔

  2. ICT Freelancer says

    Another successful story on PNG owned businesses capability to grow domestically.

  3. Great interview and insight.

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