Insurance

Insurers may lose over N10bn business, as airline operators threaten boycott

From left: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Airpeace limited, Toyin Olajide; Chairman of AON, Captain Ahmad Joji and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbedos Group, Alhaji Kashim Shettima at the event.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Unless urgent steps are adopted to address the imbroglio between insurance operators and Aircraft owners under the umbrella of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the underwriting sector may lose businesses estimated to be over N10 billion as AON members have threatened to begin placing their aviation risks with foreign underwriters.

The airline operators have called on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to quickly intervene and address the enormous challenges they are having with local insurers. According to them, NAICOM needs to quickly organise a forum that would enable them sort out their issues with underwriters.

The AON members, who expressed their misgivings at the 2019 Annual Interactive Session with Consumers of Insurance Products organised by NAICOM in Lagos, noted that most insurance firms over the years have continued to reneged on payment of their claims due to excuses that are not tenable.

The Chairman of AON, Captain Ahmad Joji, noted that his members are really not having good times with local insurers. He called for an open market to enable Airliners insure freely without hindrance.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Airpeace limited, Toyin Olajide, lamented over $ 300,000 loss her company incurred due to non payment of claims by underwriters.

She also canvassed the need for a lead insurer to settle claims and get refund from co-insurers.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbedos Group, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, narrated how his underwriter failed to respond to an accident compliant on one of his aircraft. According to him, having reported the incident to the underwriting firm, the company instead of getting back to him went and report the issue to their foreign partner (underwriter) who called him for an enquiry.

He called on NAICOM to grant airliners the liberty to insure abroad, where aviation business is properly handled.

According to him, aviation business should not be handled with kids gloves, as any mistake can lead to great mishap.

President of Chartered insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Eddie Efekoha, noted that the issues raised by AON members, were handled by insurers according to stipulated laws. He encouraged the organisation of a forum for AON members and insurers to properly examine the issues.

The Head, Complaint Bureau NAICOM, Ahmad Adamu, urged the airline operators to exercise restraint as NAICOM will look into their complaints.

According to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) underwriters paid N5.98 billion claims on aviation and marine business.

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