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Chuks Udo Okonta
Insurance companies with outstanding claims would henceforth publish the names of claimants in two national newspapers, the Commissioner for Insurance Sunday Thomas, has said.
He said this while responding to a question asked by the Publisher of Inspenonline, during the recently held NAICOM Seminar for Insurance Journalists in Lagos.
Thomas noted that the publication would be done before insurance companies close their financial accounts for each year.
He stated that the Commission has demanded the schedule of outstanding claims from insurers, adding that he is keenly following up with the operators on the schedule to ensure that current outstanding claims are paid latest by the end of first quarter 2023.
The Commissioner for Insurance maintained that the decision to publish outstanding claims in the dailies, stemmed from complaints from insurers that claimants are not coming forth with documents to process their claims.
He said the publication would help pass the message to the public that insurers are ready and committed to claims payment.
He submitted that the initiative would make insurance companies pay claims willingly or forcefully.
Thomas had at an event early in the year, charged insurance practitioners not to harbour under their roofs, claims defaulters, who are tagged elements of destruction.
He noted that insurance practice in Nigeria in the past has had its good, bad and ugly moments, stressing that one of such bad and ugly moments that have had significant impact on the image and perception of the industry is the issue of claims payment.
He submitted that indeed the records and statistics of unpaid claims associated with some of the members has not been too good and must be overturned to the benefit of all stakeholders.
“I must quickly acknowledge and salute the efforts of those companies that are alert to their responsibility of prompt claims payment and encourage them to sustain the good practice.
“Insurance practitioners must be seen to be fighting this cause genuinely and collectively for the future of insurance to be as bright as we expect it.
“We must not continue to harbour elements of destruction under our roofs,” he said.
Thomas stated that the issue of non-payment of genuine claims has always put the Commission and the entire industry on the defensive when it comes to discussing insurance in every stratum of the economy, stating that the Commission is doing all it could within the ambit of extant laws to see that the non-settlement of genuine claims is eliminated in the sector and I can assure you that we will not relent, he said
He admonished the Professionals to leverage the positive experiences from the past to build a formidable future for insurance in Nigeria, stressing that the effort must be collective and patriotic.
“We must all see insurance as a profession that should be a buffer for the economy while eliminating the toga of being the weak link within the financial services sector.
“We must practice insurance with passion and resilient not just as a means of livelihood that we have to survive on but, that which every insurance professional should be proud to say “I am a party to this success.” he submitted.