Regulator tasks consumers to report non-claims payment to CBU
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has advised consumers with genuine unsettled claims problems to channel their grievances through its Complaint Bureau Unit (CBU), which has been upgraded to listen to aggrieved consumers in Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, gave the charge while responding to an allegation by Dangote Group that some insurers have refused to settle its N400million claims since 2012.
According to Kari, the Complaint Bureau Unit has been upgraded, and is now headed by a Deputy Director in the Commission to settle such matters in the industry.“The Commission had signalled the issue of effective and efficient service delivery to consumers as a key priority with its establishment of Complaint Bureau Unit, to deal with complains from members of the public against any insurance operator. This Unit had recently been upgraded, and is headed by a Deputy Director to attend to aggrieved consumers.
“Many aggrieved consumers have continued to access this desk to register their complaints with us. We advise the general public to take advantage of the desk and report challenges, and we assure that any company found in default shall be compelled to do the needful,” he said.Kari, who was also not happy with consumers over some practices that are not in sync with insurance rules, accused them of connivance with Brokers to allot a proportion of risk to local underwriters without due cognisance of the insurers’ capacity, preferring to place the risk abroad even when the local market is not saturated.
He also alleged that some consumers in alliance with intermediaries choose to exclude some underwriters from participation in underwriting certain risks without cogent tenable justification.
“However, the Commission in recent time have noticed certain behaviours and actions of consumers that are not in sync with this belief, which is detrimental and dangerous to the insurance industry in Nigeria.“The Commission frowns at these practices, and wants to use this medium to inform such consumers to desist from the practices, as they run counter to our regulations. Where we have noticed such practices, we have rejected applications from operators for approval to cede such risks abroad.
“This action of the consumer/broker sometime leads to delays in the placement of the risks, even when the insured has paid its premium to the intermediary. “While the Commission is not averse to ceding of risks offshore, it must be done only when the local market has taken the much its capacity would allow,” he said.
Other areas the Commission has issues with the insurance consumers are in the direct involvement of the insured with reinsurance placement of their insurances. He stressed that once the consumer placed his risks with the insurer, whether direct or through a broker, neither he nor the broker has any role in the placement of the reinsurance.
“On this note, I would like to remind consumers that the Nigerian insurance space should only be occupied by insurance institutions licensed and regulated by NAICOM. We would not accept insurances placed through a non-licensed operator in this market,” he added.
He was also unhappy with delays in submitting evaluation results of bidding processes to the Commission, adding that delays by the insured in issuing placement/renewal instruction make it impossible for the insurer to meet the application period for the placement of excess risks offshore where applicable.
“The emerging practices of supposed premium funding by local brokers on behalf of the insured are trends that are not only dangerous to the insurance industry, but also to the consumer.”We ask you to desist from these practices because they are neither in your best interest nor that of the insurance operator, and of course, that of our nation.”
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