Insurers lose about N160bn yearly to fake motor insurance racketeers

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Chuks Udo Okonta

At a time insurance companies are scrabbling for funds to remain afloat, about N160 billion which ought to accrue to them yearly from motor insurance business, is fraudulently obtained by individuals who engage in production and sales of fake motor policies.

According to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) there are about 12 million motor vehicles in Nigeria, of which only 2.5 million are insured as revealed by the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), which warehouses the number of vehicles in the country that are properly insured.

Data obtained from the association revealed that the industry recorded N42.90 billion premium from motor business in 2014; N39.84 billion in 2015; N40.39 billion in 2016 and N39.29 billion in 2017. These figures are far cry from what ought to be generated going by the numbers of vehicles in the country.

Experts posited that going by the data from the industry, which showed that the number of policies uploaded on the NIID in the past four years had been hovering around 2.5 million and premium generated from it, around N40 billion, it could be deduced that the 9.5 million uninsured vehicles, would have generated about N160 billion.

The Director-General of the NIA, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, whilst speaking on the development said: “According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there are 12 million vehicles in Nigeria and Lagos state has over 5 million, which is over 20 per cent. But on our portal we have over 2.5 million which is a far cry and an indication that other are carrying fake papers.”

To stem the menace of fake motor policies, she maintained that the association has launched a campaign tagged, Wetin You Carry? Which is aimed to educate motorists on the need to secure their vehicles with genuine insurance policies.

She noted that the association had deployed a team of 33 persons, known as Insurance Squad, to all parts of Lagos State to educate the public on the benefits of possessing genuine motor insurance covers.

She posited that the association desires to put the slogan, Wetin you carry? on the lips of everybody, adding that the slogan is not meant to extort something from people, but to enquire from them whether they are carrying genuine policies or fake.

Mrs. Ilori maintained that the campaign is not geared towards enforcement, but to let people understand that they can have genuine policies that could give them rest of mind in times of incidence.

She posited that the campaign would be driven through different platforms, such as billboard advertorials, media and digital and that the pilot scheme would commence from Lagos and later extended to other states.

She implored the public to maximize the benefits provided by insurance and secure their lives and properties, adding that insurance remains one of the best tools to safeguard properties at times like this, when is difficult to restore lost items.

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