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Fire: Insurance claims rise by 125% to N22.92bn

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Fire: Insurance claims rise by 125% to N22.92bn

 

Sunday Ojeme Despite economic recession that troubled their premium growth for over a year, Nigerian underwriters experienced claims increase of over 100 per cent on fire policy as they paid out a total of N22.92 billion as against N17.67 billion in the previous dispensation. According to latest statistics released by the regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the claims payment involved about 40 firms that doled out N17.67 billion. The commitment, however, increased by additional 25 per cent to N22.92 billion.

The breakdown further revealed that a total of N31.72 billion was received as gross premium for the period while N38.24 billion was paid for the same purpose by policyholders or renewal. In the same vein, while the net claims stood at N11.06 billion, it, however, increased to N11.38 billion in the next dispensation.

The gross claims paid during the year, according to the data, showed that Anchor Insurance Plc paid out N82. 40 million; Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, N480.70 million; Custodian and Allied, N666.77 million, while FinInsurance paid out N48.16 million. Guinea Insurance, N206.04 million; KBL Insurance, N29.14 million; International Energy Insurance, N437.50 million; Wapic Insurance, N45.93 million; Law Union and Rock, N495.33 million, and Linkage Assurance, N272.02 million. Others are Mutual Benefit, N137.47 million; NEM, N1.28 billion; NAIC, N33.86 billion; FBN General Insurance, N232.82 million; Old Mutual General, N265.41 million; Prestige Assurance, N95.06 million; Regency Insurance, N24.87 million; Royal Exchange Assurance, N290.63 million; Sovereign Trust, N427.97 million; Staco, N787.82 million; Standard Alliance, N299.22 million; Sterling Assurance, N378.43 million, and Universal Insurance, N2.35 million.

The list also include SAHAM Unitrust, N555.17 million; UnityKapital, N58.80 million; Zenith General, N2.97 billion; NSIA, N444.29 million; AIICO, N1.66 billion; Cornerstone Insurance,N528.73 million; Goldlink, N87.26 million; Great Nigeria Insurance, N105.42 million; Axa Mansard, N1.42 billion; Industrial and General Insurance, N29.39 million; Lasaco Assurance, N182.94 million; Leadway Assurance, N3.07 million; Niger Insurance, N115.08 million, and Ensure, N243.85 million.

Prompt claims payment has become one of the tools the industry regulator and operators had, in the last couple of years, designed to make insurance attractive to most Nigerians, who had displayed apathy towards the industry. Amid the prompt claims payment, the industry is also wary of criminals, who are deploying various fraudulent tactics to receive claims falsely.

Apart from the industry losing billions of naira to fake insurance documents and capital flight, the ambush by dubious policyholders to demand claims over self-inflicted losses, has become so disturbing. Last year, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, became so disturbed that he appealed to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to beam its searchlight on the insurance sector to curtail such fraud.

Before Kari’s position, the leadership of the Nigerian Insurers’ Association (NIA) had promised to share knowledge with judicial officers, magistrates and judges on the workings of insurance business and to fully equip them towards responding adequately to the rising cases of fraudulent claims.

The association specifically complained about the growing trend of fraudulent claims specifically engendered by economic recession. It has also strengthened the collaboration among operators to being beyond just an association to include forestalling fraud.

Painting a picture of the success story recently, the Chairman of the association, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, revealed that the operators had uncovered fraudulent claims through market cohesion and improved intercompany relationship He said: “It is equally important to inform you that we are witnessing more market cohesion and improved intercompany relationship. Companies now share information on new businesses and claims.

This has resulted in the discovery of fraudulent claims in the market especially in the area of motor insurance. “The association appreciates members for this improved relationship and urges greater collaboration in the market.”

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