By Patience Saghana
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said that it will not hesitate to take stance measure against any insurance
companies that fail to action against any organization or individualÂ that do not abide by law on compulsory insurance and pay claims just as any insurance brokers or agents that withhold premium will face its music.
Mr Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance at the flag off of Compulsory insurance in the South-West of the country held at Ibadan last weekend said insurance companies, broker and agents must not only play the game by the rules but also take adequate advantage of the prospects in the compulsory insurance
The Insurance Act of 2003 makes 16 insurance products compulsory. But insurance companies have only developed six. The six products are Third Party Motor Insurance (Section 68 of Insurance Act 2003); Builders Liability (Section 64 of Insurance Act 2003); and the Occupiersâ€™ Liability (Section 65 of Insurance Act 2003).
Others are the Workmenâ€™sâ€™ Compensation of Section 40 of Workmenâ€™sâ€™ Compensation Act 1897; Health Care Professional Indemnity of Section 45 of the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme 1995 and the statutory group life of Section 3(2) and Section 9(3) of Pension Reform Act 2004.
The Commissioner noted that â€œThe number of buildings that are collapsing and the innocent lives that have been lost is not comparable to anywhere else. Some buildings have collapsed in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. Three buildings collapsed in Kano last year and people lost their lives.
A building collapsed in a remote place near Awka, a nursery school, where we saw a two-year old child being pulled out of the debris dead,â€ Daniel recalled with pains.
Arising from this background, he stated that if anyone fails to insure his or her building, â€œthere is a penalty and they can be prosecuted for not insuring and if found guilty can be sent to jail or fined or both. So it is not lame-duck legislation. There are penalties for failing to insure,â€
Daniel in his speech at the occasion declared that the commission would not falter in invoking sanctions of fines and prison terms against any individual or organization that fails to comply with the laws of the country especially on compulsory insurance.
The insurance commissioner the regulatory body would not falter in cancelling the operating license of any insurance company that fails to pat genuine claims to policyholders whilst he stated that NAICOM would not waver in withdrawing operating license of any insurance broker or agent that withhold more than necessary premiums to insurance companies.
He said the commission had keenly observed some laxities in claims settlement by insurance companies.
According to him, â€œWe are aware of the fact that the claims settlement approach of underwriters is not very satisfactory to the consumers; we have issued strict guidelines on claims to underwriters for implementationâ€.