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Chuks Udo Okonta
While sitting at the lobby of an insurance company on Monday this week, waiting for 10:00am appointment with the Managing Director, a young man came in, went to the front desk ladies and a conversation started.
Young man: Good morning
Front desk lady: Good morning, how may I help you?
Young man: I received a message from your company about a policy I had time past that I stopped paying premium. I have come to reactivate that my insurance policy.
Front desk lady: What is the policy number?
Young Man: I can’t remember the policy number for it has been long I abandoned the policy.
Front desk lady: Okay, take a seat and wait while I talk to the technical team about it.
Young man: Thanks.
I watched and listened to the conversation and was elated seeing a young coming to an insurance company that early morning, just because he was reminded of a policy he had abandoned and came to reactivate it.
I was compelled to write this article knowing that it may assist insurance practitioners and insuring public.
From the engagement between the young man and the front desk lady, I learnt the following lessons.
* Insurance practitioners should do their jobs properly
The growth and development of insurance business to great extent rest in the hands of insurance practitioners. The insurance industry would thrive when insurance practitioners do their work as required.
The young man’s new quest to reactivate the abandoned policy came from the follow up exercise carried out by the insurance company. There are man people like him who would return to payment of their premium if they are followed up by their insurers.
* People believe in insurance
The attitude exhibited by the young man, revealed that the public really believes in insurance and would continue to embrace it, provided insurance practitioners keep to the rules guiding the business.
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has made it mandatory and an offence, if an insurance company fails to notify policyholders of renewal 60 days to expiration of a policy.
NAICOM in its 2022 Revised Market Conduct and Business Practice Guidelines for Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, stated that insurers should ensure their clients receive renewal invitation at least 60 days to expiry and issue subsequent reminders.
NAICOM in section 1.7.0 and
1.7.1 of the guidelines and under the headline, Policy Servicing (After Sales Service), stated that insurance institutions shall:
A. Service policies diligent through to the point at which all obligations under the policy have been satisfied.
B .Disclose to the policyholder information on any changes that are likely to affect the terms and conditions of the contract and give reasonable
notice before any changes take effect.
C. Where there are changes in terms and conditions, notify the policyholder of their rights and obligations regarding such changes and obtain the policyholders consent.
D .Ensure fair treatment in the event of switching between products or early cancellation of a policy.
E. Ensure that the client receives the insurers renewal invitation at least 60 days to expiry and issue subsequent reminders.
F. Ensure that its client is aware of the expiry date of the insurance even if it chooses not to offer further cover to the client.
G. Ensure that renewal notices contain a requirement for keeping a record (including copies of letters) of all information supplied to the insurer for the purpose of renewal of the contract.
According to NAICOM, insurance companies not complying with these stated rules risk sanctions. Therefore, whenever you are penalised for parading expired policy, especially motor insurance, leverage this rules and tackle the erring insurance companies.