In Nigeria, research has shown that insurance policy is often taken with kid gloves. One of the reasons for the lukewarm attitude is the impression that getting insurance claims is like a camel going through the eye of the needle.
An insurance expert, Fumilayo Odamah who is the regional manager, Niger Insurance Plc has provided insights into why insurance claims are delayed.
According to her, the delay in getting claims often come from the complainer’s failure to adhere to the provisions of the insurance policy, provide correct estimate or cost and right information/data.
Fumlilayo further said that some claimants may be denied if they tender fake insurance certificates and documents ”Some people don’t have genuine policy. Some people can come in and show you certificate of insurance. When you check record, you don’t have their names on your record but that person will go out and say insurance company didn’t pay him’’
”The regional manager also attributed the delay or denial to ignorance and failure to stick to actual type of insurance policy cover ”Why people complain is that they don’t know what to insure. If somebody has a property policy and complains that somebody hit his car or it got damaged by another person. What you have is a property policy which does not cover a car policy. He goes round telling people they didn’t pay his claim, it’s a different thing” she said.
To efficiently handle a claim, Funmilayo said the claimant has to notify the insurance company within 30days the incident happened except if the person in question is incapacitated; involved in an accident, admitted in the hospital and unconscious. ”You know when there is a claim we would like to investigate. We would want to know if it is a genuine one. Like a motor claim, it takes the company within 30 days after the person has given you everything you ask for because sometimes if he did not give us correct estimate, there is no way we can pay get that claim” ”For instance, a claim was reported in 2012 but since then, the person did not show up until recently. The man claimed he has not been around but we have to refund, that is another reason. When an incident happens, you have to inform the insurance company within next 30 days. If you did not inform, that means we will take it as a nothing happened.,” she said.