This paper reviews the operational efficiency of the Nigeria insurance industry from a historical perspective. Our paper traced the origin of insurance in Nigeria to 1918, when marine insurance was dominant in the economy. The paper shows that despite the long history of insurance industry in Nigeria, the sector’s operational efficiency has remained sub-optimal. This, the paper attributed to factors such as unfavourable macroeconomic environment, poor regulatory framework, market suspicion of insurance companies among others. Our paper argues that these challenges are not beyond redemption and recommends strategies to attain operational efficiency in the Nigerian insurance industry.