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Chuks Udo Okonta
An insurance broker has narated how his company paid $900 claims on behalf of an underwriting firm which failed to honour its responsibility.
The broker implored insurance companies to do more to change the mindset of the populace on insurance from negative to positive.
Chairman/CEO, Boff & Company Insurance Brokers Limited, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja, who disclosed this during an interaction with journalists on the sideline of the recently held Conference of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Nairobi, Kenya, said: “At a point, we had to pay $900 claims on behalf of Niger Insurance. But hopefully, we don’t get to witness such again in the industry.”
He noted that changing the mindset of the people has been extremely difficult, he maintained that the insurance industry must go all out to convince them that insurance administration, especially claims payment has improved tremendously.
He noted that although, few companies still mount many stumbling blocks to avoid paying claims, others are paying promptly.
He stated that only prompt and adequate payment of claims can convince the public that insurance works in the country.
He said: “Simply put, settling a claim instantly is the greatest advert any insurance company can have. A few have however failed in this area in the past. For example, we had a claim over two weeks ago where one of our clients was coming from the airport driving in his car and another car hit him from the rear. Our client had comprehensive insurance on his car and so it was supposed to be a straightforward claim.
“The insurance company involved was ready to pay but they were going to deduct a penalty because the vehicle that hit him from the rear didn’t have a third-party insurance on his own vehicle. As brokers, we engaged the company on behalf of our client to make sure they remove the penalty.
“These are some of the issues that comes up with some companies. When they collect the premium, it is straight forward and easy but when it’s time to pay claim, they begin to come up with stumbling blocks. We need to simplify claims procedure and this will make people to flog companies and insure. Although the claims payment has improved tremendously, we have had instances of large claims default that Boff have had to pay. In an instance, there were 20 companies that co-insure on a business. When claims occurred, the strong ones paid their portion of claims with ease and we were left with a few of them struggling to pay.
“Niger Insurance and Standard Alliance were notorious in claims default and that was the one of the major reasons why the regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) had to sanitise the system by withdrawing their licenses.”