Why NAICOM should fully enforce prompt payment of genuine claims


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Chuks Udo Okonta

Payment of genuine claims to me is like withdrawing money from my bank account. As long as I have sufficient deposit, I should be able to make withdrawal to stipulated threshold.

Denial or delay in payment of genuine claims is similar to going to my bank and be told I can’t withdraw without any good reason.

Even insurer who denial or delay payment of genuine claims, would loose their temper, when they are told by their bankers that they can’t meet their withdrawal expectations.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has the regulatory responsibility to ensure insurance companies meet their claims payment responsibility. This is why some Commissioner for Insurance would always state in their statements that failure to pay genuine claims can lead to withdraw of an operating licence of an insurance company.

According to the former Commissioner for Insurance Fola Daniel, payment of genuine claims is the best advertorial an insurance company can do.

Just like the bankers hold customers deposits, insurers hold customers’ risk. It then behooves on insurers to be swift like bankers, who give out deposits, in payment of genuine claims.

Why NAICOM’s role is important

*Regulatory power

NAICOM has been empowered by its law to conduct oversight on the insurance industry and ensure all insurance companies operate according to stipulated laws.
NAICOM, therefore should ensure insurance companies don’t defraud policyholders through denial or delay in payment of genuine claims.

*Protection of policyholders

Insurance policyholders enjoy statutory protection as provided by the Insurance Act, which is enforced by NAICOM.
One of the basic responsibility of NAICOM is to ensure policyholders enjoy their protection right. This should be done without looking at the faces of managements and boards of insurance companies.


It is a cardinal role of NAICOM to ensure steady growth of the insurance industry. One of the key drivers of growth is buying of policies, which should come from trust that insurance companies will arise to their responsibilities when risks happen and conditions stated in the policy activated.


It will pay NAICOM more, when insurance subscriber base soars. This is because NAICOM is empowered by the law to collect one per cent of the profit made by insurance companies.
Enforcement of claims payment would engender public trust and amount to increase in demand of insurance products.


No Commissioner for Insurance or member of staff of NAICOM, would be happy to be addressed as a regulator of a fraudulent sector. Insurance regulators would be happy when they win public awards for regulating the most trusted industry.
To secure public goodwill, NAICOM should ensure insurance companies live up to their claims payment responsibilities.

As the new management of NAICOM settles down to work, they should always note that their major role is to regulate a sector that stands on trust which is one of its main principles of insurance.

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