By Maduka Nweke
Despite Nigeria’s ravaging economic recession, 10 insurance companies have paid about N32.7 billion to insured Nigerians as compensation to succor them for mishaps they suffered in 2016.
According to Daily Sun investigation, most of the indemnified were those that suffered fire incidents, vehicle owners who lost their cars to road accidents and theft as well as families of those who died in various inferno, among others.
The companies whose claims payment summed to the above amount included Universal Insurance Plc, Anchor Insurance Company Limited, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc, Law Union and Rock Insurance, Wapic Insurance Plc and NICON Insurance Limited.
Further analysis of the compensation shows that Universal Insurance Plc paid N110.1 million claims in 2016, a feat that was commended by industry observers.
Similarly, at the 2016 Annual General Meeting(AGM) of the Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc in Lagos, its Chairman, Mr. Obinna Ekezie, said the company recorded growth in claims payment which rose from N1.34 billion in 2015 to N1.73 billion in 2016, representing an increase of 29 per cent.
For its part, AIICO Insurance Plc, said it met claims obligations in 2016 financial year to the tune of N13.09 billion, representing a 23 per cent increase from N10.67 billion it paid out in 2015.
For LASACO, about N538 million death benefits were paid to 243 beneficiaries of the deceased employees of SUBEB and local government areas (LGAs) in Lagos State between July 2013 and May 2017.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Universal Insurance Plc, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, stated that the company is presently meeting all its obligations, especially in the area of prompt claims settlement to clients and other stakeholders, adding that the insurer is liquid enough to carry out its civic responsibilities.
Cornerstone Insurance Plc said it paid gross claims of N4.5 billion to claimants in its 2016 financial year, representing an increase of 61 per cent from the N2.8 billion posted the previous year.
This, it said, was driven largely by death claims from group life, credit life and third party motor classes of insurance, even as high inflation and the security challenges in the North East and South- South zones of the country led to a significant deterioration in its claims.
Speaking at the 25th Annual General Meeting(AGM) of the company in Lagos recently, the Chairman, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Mr. Segun Adebanji, noted that the claim recovery of the firm was N1.1 billion as against N648 million in 2015.
He said the sharp increase in claim expenses led to underwriting result of N696 million, compared to N1.6 billion in 2015.
In the same vein, the Chairman of Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, Mr. Remi Babalola, said the company’s mantra remains unfailing and prompt settlement of all claims, with Claims Paying Ability (CPA) rating of A- , noting that Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc paid out N1.45 billion claims in 2016.
The Group Managing Director, Royal Exchange Plc, Alhaji Auwalu Muktari, while speaking on his company’s 2016 financial results, said net claims paid for the period under review amounted to N3.6billion, an increase of 20 per cent from 2015, which was N3billon.
A statement from the Head, Corporate Communication of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Ellen Offo, said in 2016, the insurer paid out claims amounting to N3.3 billion, which is a 43 per cent increase from the N2.3 billion paid out in 2015.
This development, the company said, was in line with its “firm commitment to honouring its obligations and delighting customers, while improving customer service excellence”.
Meanwhile Wapic Insurance Plc, said it paid out N3.8 billion claims in its 2016 financial year as part of its strategic efforts to demonstrate genuine commitment to clients’ obligations. This amount, according to the firm, was an increase of 76 per cent over the 2015 figure.
This was as Anchor Insurance Company Limited paid over N300 million claims to its customers in its 2016 financial year in continuation of its commitment to prompt claims settlement, having paid over N250 million from the beginning of the year till the end of March.
In 2016, NICON Insurance a paid N84.8 million to claimants, while in the current year (2017), it has paid total claims of N47.8 million.
Findings by showed this was an improvement to what was posted in the preceding year by insurers, as more underwriters are now trying to pay genuine claims when due in a bid to woo more customers.