‘Insurance Firms must settle genuine claims to improve image’

There is the need for insurance firms to settle legitimate claims promptly to gain public confidence.

Also, the perceptions or misconceptions by the public would be removed.

These were the views of experts as default in claims rise in the industry.

According to a report by the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), its Customer Complaints Bureau has resolved 63 conflicts between member companies and policyholders in the past one year, while another 19 cases are about to be fully resolved.

The report said the Bureau has been effective in resolving conflicts between member companies and complaints received from policyholders against member companies, thereby engendering confidence of the public in the industry.

A past president, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Dr. Ahmed Olaniyi Salawudeen, said it was important that operators are trustworthy.

Salawudeen, who is also the President, Standard Insurance Consultants Limited, said the risk carriers should ensure that legitimate claims were settled promptly.

He noted that the industry should contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said: “There is the urgent need for the arms of the industry starting from the regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), NIA, NCRIB, claims adjusters, among others, to make sure that insurance claims are not settled as and when due.

‘’Work together to form a common bloc that will be advising the government on what to be done as far as insurance business is concerned. This is very important because we do not need to throw our professionalism to the dogs.

‘’While it is the duty of the regulator to regulate what the underwriter is doing, the operator too needs abide by the ethics of the profession.

‘’The image of industry is nothing to write home about. Insurance claims are not settled as and when due. The first thing we need to do is to make sure that the risk carriers who accept business get paid while legitimate claims must be settled. Without this, the public cannot have confidence in the industry. We have to work together on how to improve the image of the industry, it was not like this in the 60s and we need to go back to put our acts right.

“The insurance industry in other countries are at the forefront contributing positively to the GDP of the government. As far as I am concerned, I am doing my best to follow the ethics of the profession.

The regulator is not the final issue, it is with the industry as a whole. The NIA, NCRIB, need to work together to see how we can improve the insurance image in Nigeria.

“I believe the regulation we have is okay but we have to individually discipline ourselves. They can make million regulations but if the insurance companies, some of which under charge risks continue in their acts, nothing will work. There was a time they went after brokers. It has nothing to do with brokers. Insurance business is just like a market place. It is the insurance companies that have to make sure they charge the correct premium at the right time.’’

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