By Rosemary Onuoha
Insurance operators are banking on the introduction of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, portal next year to curtail the menace of rate cutting and other unprofessional practices impacting negatively on turnover of companies.
Rate cutting is one of the desperate but unprofessional practices adopted by some insurance firms to get business at all cost. It is the act of charging a low or reduced premium for an insurance policy which is not commensurate with the risks being carried.
Accordingly, NAICOM is putting modalities in place in preparation to launch a portal where premium being charged by insurers will be strictly monitored. According to NAICOM, the portal is a digital platform that will capture and monitor all activities as well as operations of insurance companies and will be ready next year.
Speaking to Vanguard on the sidelines of a press briefing, Managing Director, Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, Mr. Samuel Ogbodu said that with the platform becoming operational, insurance companies will have no choice than to charge appropriate premium rates.
He said: “As we speak, the regulator has come up with a NAICOM portal. We the operators all jubilated because if you cut the rate from next year, when you are reporting to NAICOM, NAICOM will know that you have cut rate. So you have no choice than to charge the appropriate rate. We thank NAICOM for coming up with the portal, it will really help the industry and rate cutting will be a thing of the past.”
Also speaking, Executive Director, Technical & Operation, Sunu Assurance, Mr. Adeleke Hassan said that it is about time that the insurance industry offer cutting edge services to customers to win their trust.
He said: “Insurance operators should have a good relationship with their customers and be positioned to always delight them at all times and put efficient service delivery in the front burner of their operations.”
While speaking on the claims that could emanate from the Endsars crisis, Ogbodu said that many of the insured did not extend their policy to cover riot and strike because Nigerians are price sensitive.
Ogbodu said: “Nigerians are very price sensitive. If you tell them about fire and special peril, and you add riot and strike, some of them will just say, ‘I am not interested.’
“They just want to do the normal fire which is the basic cover. Under fire insurance, we have fire and special peril and we have fire and extraneous peril. Riot and strike is extraneous peril which must be paid for. Most people did not buy that cover.”
However, Ogbodu said that his company will do all within its power to compensate any of its customers whose business was affected by the EndSars protests.
He said: “For Sunu, most of our clients, especially those who have not lodged any claim in the past three years that would have suffered any loss as a result of the protest, we will look for a way to accommodate them.
“So clients that did not buy the cover but have suffered serious loss, we will sit down, tell them that this cover does not exist, but because of past relationships, we will accommodate it. And we hope to continue the relationship so that we can recoup whatever we paid ex-gratia.”