Cornerstone’s boss insists on payment of genuine claims
Speaking at a media parley with journalists, in Lagos, the Cornerstone boss, who was reacting to the rising cost of claims, he said: “I cannot imagine any underwriter not paying valid claims.”
He noted that the public misconception that insurance companies do not pay claims are based on fictitious claims, saying: “Unfortunately, there are number of sharp practices. There are cases where a single car will be insured with five different underwriters while at the same time, the person will pay his premium and a few months’ time, he will lodge a claim with all the five underwriters. Unknown to them there is a device that is used for verification. The person will thereafter go to the press, without telling them the full story and say his claim was repudiated. So where you have a valid claim, there is no way an underwriter will fail to pay.”
Besides, Musa argued that there are avenues open to the insuring public if genuine claims are not paid. “We have also seen a lot more engagement by the regulator. There is the Public Complaints, where the insured can call to report any underwriter at no cost and the issue will thereafter be resolved. Nigeria also has the cheapest rate for third party, which is N5,000.”
He recalled a personal incident when “a delivery vehicle ran into my car from behind, and I asked if he had insurance and he said no. But when he gave me his particulars, I discovered that he had a third party, which was valid. I thereafter told him that he had paid for the damages in the third party, but he couldn’t believe it.”
Commenting on Reinsurance issues, the Head, Technical & Risk Management Division, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Martins Uwuilekhue, said: “It is a major issue and NAICOM has stepped up significantly. Before any insurance company is allowed to insure any business abroad, you have to demonstrate that you have satisfied the local insurance capacity.”
Also, speaking on mobile covers likes the Airtel insurance programme, Musa explained that “about 4.7 million subscribers attempted to register of which 2.7 million succeeded. At the 18 months it ran, about 1.8 million received covers and during that period we paid 329 claims on hospitalisation and three claims on death.”
He however noted that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is now working to release their guidelines base on the understanding with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on mobile insurance.
Such move, the Cornerstone boss said, will enable the firm to take advantage of the huge opportunity in the mobile insurance, adding that there is no other channel in the country today that can give you the same level of exposure.
“If you want to achieve the best coverage, I think mobile will give you at least one of the most interests, and as a company, it is an area we are interested to key into,” he said.
On the economy, he said: “2016 was a challenging year, but it was not unexpected as we saw signs from 2015. For us at Cornerstone, we believe it is a marathon not a sprint. At the early stage, we said we were going to focus on innovation as a way to entrench resilience and engage with the customers.
“So we continue not just on products but technology. We focus on making insurance accessible not just in terms of physical channels but also the electronic channels. We improve on e-platform delivery,” he maintained.
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