(Yinika Okoye, NAN)
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) says it will take keen interest in handling claims complaints of adequately insured policyholders following the destruction of properties that greeted the EndSARS protests.
Mr Rasaaq Salami, NAICOM’s Head, Commissioner for Insurance Directorate, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the commission would await complaints from policyholders arising from the EndSARS protests.
According to him, situations like this underscore the importance of adequate and appropriate insurance.
Salami said that the insurance industry was gradually and steadily shifting from that era of poor claims payment to adequately honouring their obligations.
He stressed the need for both government and individuals to adequately insure all their assets and liabilities.
“What has happened is very unfortunate and sad. We all know that the losses are heavy and a lot of financial resources are required to replace all that has been lost.
“Because of the sensitivity of this EndSARS issue, NAICOM is going to take keen interest in it and await any claims complaint that will come from it.
“The industry is now aware of the benefits to them as operators when they honour their obligation because when you do, it becomes easier for you to get the other party to come and insure.
“I deliberately stressed adequate and appropriate because there are policies that the insured go into that are limited, some do not cover anything.
“When you have your risks and you disclose it and it is appropriately priced and the appropriate premium is paid, with genuine insurance companies through NAICOM’s registered insurance brokers or direct with the insurance companies, it means that when a situation of loss occurs, claims payment is guaranteed.
“A lot of buildings have been destroyed, both public and private buildings, as well as vehicles.
“In most cases, these destructions came about from acts of riots.
“Riots do not stand alone as insurance policy, they are sometimes tied to fire insurance which is an addition, so that is why I talked about adequate and appropriate insurance.
“Because if there is a fire insurance and there is no endorsement that covers riots, destructions, losses occasioned by riots, when they happen, you are not likely to get compensation,’’ he explained.
Salami advised prospective policy holders to employ the services of insurance brokers to educate them on the appropriate policies to undertake before insuring properties.
Also speaking, Mr Ganiyu Musa, the Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), told NAN that members of the association would pay valid claims of policyholders.
“We know that the loss of life is a bigger calamity because it is not replaceable but at a time like this, all our thoughts and prayers are to the people that lost their loved ones.
“Every other thing can be replaced. Insurance is a contract, so the policy you buy may be different from mine and these policies have details of what is covered and what is not.
“Where it is discovered that one has paid his premium, then you do not have anything to fear. It is a big, huge loss,’’ he said.
An Insurance Consultant, Mr Ekerete Gam-Ikon, said that the implication of the damages done to both private and public properties could be viewed from the law and development of the economy.
Gam-Ikon stressed the need to strengthen the insurance industry through patronage to enable it work during losses.
“Until we understand that, the purpose of insurance is to make the economy resilient and not to give money to some people or help an industry, we will keep going one step forward and five steps back,’’ he said.
Similarly, the management of Coronation Insurance (formerly Wapic Insurance), said it had put in place a claims response platform for real-time communication and easy sharing of loss evidence, to fast track claims processing.
Other insurance companies like AIICO Insurance Plc, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI), the Universal Insurance Plc, had also assured policyholders of their prompt response to claims.
NAN recalls that private and public properties worth billions of naira were destroyed by hoodlums across the country during the recent EndSARS protests.