Insurance

How insurance sector rejected govt. bids to cut group life premium

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Insurance sector’s rejection of Federal Government bids to reduce the premium for its group life policy was one of the reasons some of government workers didn’t have cover for 2019, Inspenonline has learnt.

Inspenonline reliably gathered that the federal government through the Office of Head of Service had approached insurance operators to reduced the rate on group life for workers, a development the underwriters rejected as it was considered to be inimical to their business.

It was also learnt that another reason the government could not secure its workers was the change of leadership in the Office of the Head of Service.

According to some insurance operators who spoke with this medium, the government in a bid to cut the premium, had several meetings with executives of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the leadership of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) to pressed the reduction of the rate charged on group life, but failed to convinced the insurance regulator and operators, as they stood their ground relying on a secular previously issued by the government mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to comply with the rules on group life policy.

It was gathered that the NIA is presently engaging the government to see that group life policy is procured for government workers this year.

Worried about the lack of policy for government workers, especially officers of security agencies, the Nigeria Police recently called on NAICOM to grant waver to the agencies to enable them provide cover for their workforce.

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had at the 2019 Annual Interactive Session with Consumers of Insurance Products in Lagos, made the call.

Adamu, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner for Police, Abdul Suleiman Abdul, noted that the group life of police officers elapsed in June 2019, an indication that families of officers that died since the cover elapsed cannot claim any insurance benefits.

He also called on insurance companies to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and leverage it to educate securities personnel on health issues and also execute capacity building for the officers, stressing that such efforts would help enhance the lifespan of the officers and reduce claims payment.

He also implore insurers to as part of CSR, provide scholarship for children and wards of deceased security officers.

He urged insurers to live up to their responsibilities in settling all outstanding claims of deceased police officers.

A peep into the data of the NIA revealed that no premium was obtained from the government in 2018 for some of its agencies and in line with the No Premium No Cover rule, no claim was paid to workers and families of government ministries, departments and agencies that ought to be covered.

In 2017 some insurance companies paid over N328.74 million group life claims to Nigeria Police for officers who might have died in service.

According to the NIA, the amount was paid by three life insurers namely, Custodian Life Assurance Limited; Mutual Benefits Assurance Life Assurance Company Limited and FBNInsurance Limited.

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