9.5 million vehicles are not insured in Nigeria,says NIA
There are indications from the nation’s insurance industry operators that only about 2.53 million out of the 12 million registered vehicles on Nigerian roads, have genuine motor insurance certificates, leaving about 9.5 million effectively uninsured.
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) told The Guardian that presently, out of the 12 million registered vehicles on roads in the country, five million are in Lagos State alone.Findings by The Guardian however, revealed that some of these 9.5 million vehicles that are not insured, display fake motor insurance papers, while some do not have any form of insurance policy at all.
Also, many others, who had genuine insurance papers, have relapsed into illegality by failing to renew when their previous Motor insurance cover expired.
The Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) Act demands that any automobile on Nigerian roads must have at least third party motor insurance policy or comprehensive insurance policy, which goes for 10 per cent of the value of a vehicle.
Third Party Vehicle Insurance comes at a fixed price of N5, 000 for privately used saloons and SUVs, while commercially used vehicles are charged N7, 500.The insurance industry is losing billions of Naira on motor insurance to fake policy hawkers, who sell only papers to motorists.
Investigations also revealed that most drivers go for fake insurance because it is cheap, as well as to avoid the anger of the law enforcement agents, as they have little or no knowledge of the benefits of buying original insurance cover.Other uninsured motorists, it was learnt, prefer to bribe their way out with law enforcement agents in the case they are accosted on the roads.
But insurance operators, led by NIA, said they are set to tackle the menace of fake motor insurance papers on Nigerian roads by launching a campaign tagged: “Wetin U Carry”, where vehicle owners can confirm the authenticity of their insurance papers by dialing *565*11# on their phones.
Speaking to journalists at a media briefing to unveil the initiative in Lagos, the Director-General, NIA, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said the 2.53 million vehicles registered on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) are those with genuine insurance papers, noting that, most motorists are either uninsured or parading fake insurance certificates.
She warned motorists with fake vehicle certificates not to expect claims when accident happens, unlike those with genuine insurance certificates, urging vehicle owners to confirm the genuineness of their insurance coverage through the aforementioned code.
According to her, this was the reason why some Nigerians are complaining that insurance companies are not paying claims; she said this happened because they do not have genuine insurance coverage as you can see in some licensing offices where you buy third-party motor insurance at the rate of N2, 000.
In this development, the president, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Shola Tinubu, had expressed his dissatisfaction that despite the existence of compulsory insurance Act of which Third Party Motor Insurance is part of, some motorists have decided to patronise fake insurers at the detriment of the registered insurance firms, while some are uninsured, thereby, making insurance industry loses billions of Naira on an annual basis.
While calling on relevant stakeholders to increase insurance awareness to let some of these motorists and other Nigerians understand the benefits of insurance, he urged the people to do their insurances through brokers, as insurance brokers have the needed expertise to advise them on the right policies that suit their needs.
The Managing Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Eddie Efekoha, had earlier in the year, urged government and law enforcement agencies to support insurers by enforcing the procurement of compulsory insurances, adding that operators cannot be selling products and at the same time carry out enforcement.He believes if there is proper enforcement and the right sanctions meted on the violators, road users would not want to put their cars on the roads without valid cover.
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