Aggrieved policyholders leverage new website, flood NAICOM with complaints

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The recently launched website of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has provided a channel for dissatisfied insuring public to present their numerous complaints to the commission, Inspenonline has learnt.

According to a member of staff of NAICOM, the commission has in recent times, received numerous complaints from the website which was rebuilt to meet current trends.

The staffer said the commission is working on the complaints which are mostly claims issues.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, said the commission is alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policyholders.

He noted that the commission will adopt stringent measures that would compel insurance firms to honour their claims.

“We are however alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policyholders. These sad failure include the companies inability or refusal to settle inter-company balances. These claims and balances have risen to an unacceptable level where again we are now required to withdraw the self-regulation option given operators to total enforcement of the law,” he said.

On the portal for electronic transmission of accounts, the source said works are almost completed on the portal, stressing that the commission is taking its time to ensure that the portal did not run into problem when it comes alive.

NAICOM had pledged to launch the portal this year, adding that it would leverage information technology to improve effectiveness and reduce regulatory burden of manual operations on Insurance Institutions.

It noted that to achieve the initiative which is one of the nine priorities set for this year, it will establish a framework for Information technology supervision of insurance Institutions and promote arrangements for efficient and more cost effective applications in the Insurance Industry.

The commission which is worried about late submission of accounts by insurance firms, said a number of Companies submitted their statutory Returns for the year 2016 late, stressing that the delay in submission of accounts deprives the Commission, Policyholders, Insurance Intermediaries, Analysts and other Stakeholders of the relevant information about the performance and financial condition of the Companies, as well as the level of their compliance with relevant provisions of the law.

“The Commission is poised to implement relevant measures to discourage Companies from filing late Returns and sanction errant ones appropriately. Amongst others, this will include a detailed review of their accounting and financial reporting systems, restriction of certain activities until relevant Returns are filed, action against officials accountable for financial reporting, as well as publicizing the compliance status of Insurance Institutions on our website for public guidance,” it said.

It urged Boards of Companies to take interest in the timely filing of Returns which, incidentally, contain information they need to effectively perform their oversight function, adding that the non-rendition of Returns is therefore an indication of the failure of the Board.

“In order to facilitate the timely rendition of Returns, the Commission will carry out a review of the current Returns requirements and streamline them for more efficiency in preparation and submission.

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