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Insurers pay policyholders N1.7b as fire outbreak claims hit N2.7 billion

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Determined to change the perceptions Nigerians about the nation’s insurance industry, few among the operators especially during the global pandemic coronavirus, have started raising hopes for policyholders’ by paying claims worth N1.7 billion specifically during the lockdown.

Among the underwriting firms that honoured claims obligation amid the pandemic in the industry include: AllCO Insurance Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Linkage Assurance.

Confirming the development over the weekend, the Executive Director Retail Business, AllCO Insurance Plc, Sola Ajayi, told The Guardian that his company paid out about N1.7 billion to its customers in fulfilment of its contractual obligations covering claims, benefits, loans, maturity payments within the first 21 days of COVID-19 lockdown in the sector.

According to Ajayi, within the first three weeks of the lockdown, the firm paid N907 million in life insurance benefits to 1,441 individual customers and over N480 million to 10,275 Annuitants who are on the firm’s Life Annuity plan.

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He stressed that the underwriting firm keeps producing great results, saying, “This is as a part of the AIICO culture and it has accounted for high customer retention rate. We are poised to do more.”

The Executive Director, Corporate Business Division, Adewale Kadri, who also described the development said, “we are operational despite the lockdown and we are accepting discounted premium from clients as palliatives to loyal customers during this trying period.

“We deliver insurance certificates including policy documents within minutes. Over 250 valued Brokers had their claims of over N300 million settled within 48 hours. Our online real-time platform has delighted all our Brokers in this regard, and we receive compliments almost daily on our service delivery”.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Fajemirokun, said the daily volume of transactions is proof that the firm’s investment in infrastructure for Business Continuity is worth every penny and built for the long term.He added that AIICO’s Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) is certified using standards set by the British Standard Institute.

The Head of Sales and Corporate Communications, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Segun Bankole, who also one of the underwriters that performed its claims obligation during this trying time, spoke to The Guardian said that the total claims payment by his company has reached N2,785,105,193.37 to various insured spread across the country.

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He however, stated that the claims experience in 2019 was quite commendable when compared to the N4.2b figure of 2018. This, he attributed to the improved claims management process of the Underwriting Firm which has largely been driven by a robust IT infrastructure.

The claims paid in 2019 shows that Fire had the highest figure of N932m with Oil and Gas Insurance ranking second with total claims settled to the tune of N701m. Motor Insurance claims amounted to N537m while Marine & Aviation claims stood at N305m. The total sum of N248m was paid as claims on General Accident Policy with CAR closing the figures with N56m bringing the total claims paid to N2.7b.

Commenting on the intent of the organization as regards claims settlement, the Executive Director, Technical Operations, Jude Modilim said, “there is no compromise to genuine claims’ settlement in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc because the major focus of the company is to ensure that our teeming customers get to enjoy the benefits of taking out any form of insurance policy with us through prompt settlement of their claims when the need arises.

“That to us, is the only way to prove that we are well and alive to our responsibilities as an Underwriting Firm in the country. We intend to uphold this obligation and we will always continually strive to make good our promise”.

In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer, Olaotan Soyinka, stated that the company has put in place a friendly-claim-process with the major aim of putting smiles on the faces of its various customers across the country by ensuring that claims are settled within the shortest period possible on completion of all necessary documentation.

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Linkage Assurance Plc, Daniel Braie, who also explained how his firm was relating with its customers during COVID-19 lockdown, said: “we realise the serious impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on both individual and corporate lives of people here in Nigeria, and all over the world.

Braie said the firm will continue to be with customers and the insuring community, to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does not disrupt their businesses so badly.

Braie noted that, the Company immediately before the lockdown activated her digital platforms that enable the collaboration of various workforce (underwriters, claims administrators, relationship managers, customer services IT and others) to work together and attain to customers need in these challenging times.

The company would continue to provide insurance services particularly ensuring that claims are paid promptly. As a matter of fact, from the inception of the lockdown period we have paid millions of naira on claims to our clients that have filed claims for various losses.

We have also received 98 claims notifications on diverse types of losses from our customers, and where loss adjusters are needed, they have continued to relate with our underwriters who are working to ensure the claims are paid quickly.

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