Insurers pay N232.9b claims, predict rise in liability profile
THE country’s insurance companies paid claims amounting to N232.86 billion to individuals and corporate organizations in the past three years, ending December, 2013.
The industry, however, wrote a gross premium income of N750.28 billion in the same period under review.
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) (the umbrella body for the underwriting companies), in a statement signed by the Director-General of the association, Sunday Thomas, explained that N70.71 billion claims were paid out in 2011; N72.209 billion in 2012; and N89.945 billion in 2013.
Of the total claims of N89.945 billion paid in 2013, life portfolio led with N33.993 billion claims payment; followed by motor insurance with N13.725 billion; closely followed by oil and gas risks which gulps N13.097 billion; fire insurance cost the risks managers N10.254 billion claims; general accident N9.983 billion; marine and aviation N5.464 billion; miscellaneous risks, N2.84 billion; and N587.47 million claims paid for workmen compensation.
The NIA boss said “Insurance companies have an obligation to restore clients to good standing after a loss. The association encourages member companies to pay all genuine claims expeditiously.”
Thomas said: “The association in recognition of possible disputes established a Customer Complaints Bureau headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. The Bureau is completely independent of the association. The principal objective of the bureau is to ensure that all parties to insurance transactions are fairly treated while their rights are preserved.
“The bureau is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism which is unbiased, transparent and result-oriented. The aim is to promote sound professional ethics and best practices.”
The NIA boss explained that the improvement in the industry’s performance in 2013 could be attributed to the relative stability and sustained growth in the economy, the increasing insurance awareness and government patronage of insurance services. Coupled with these factors, he said, are the innovations and improved service delivery by member companies as well as the growing confidence in the insurance system by the general public.