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Underwriters brace up for ‘overwhelming’ claims from protests

By Bankole Orimisan
28 October 2020   |   4:28 am
Amid continuous looting and attacks on properties and loss of lives occasioned by the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria, insurance practitioners are bracing up for possible overwhelming compensation for insured individuals...

Residents of Gwagwalada, looting COVID-19 paliatives from the warehouse in Abuja. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

…As operators guide policyholders on procedure

Amid continuous looting and attacks on properties and loss of lives occasioned by the #EndSARS protests across Nigeria, insurance practitioners are bracing up for possible overwhelming compensation for insured individuals and entities that suffered losses during protests.

For an industry that is faced with multiple challenges occasioned by ongoing recapitalisation, very low insurance awareness and penetration, the reinsurance back-ups may also be challenged, as the industry is still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic losses.   
Whether gov­ernment or private, insurance estimated claims are expected to run into hundreds of billions of naira. However, the level of compensation would depend on the nature and type of policy covered.

To this end, a number of insurance firms have taken preliminary measures to guide filing of claims by the insured. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Coronation Insurance (formerly Wapic Insurance) Adeyinka Adekoya, expressed the hope that claims would be settled as quickly as possible.

He was quoted in a statement that the underwriter will ensure that it proactively collates information of damages and losses, while responding to claims with speed and precision so that its clients do not have to suffer for too long.
The statement reads: “We are aware that our customers are dealing with numerous difficulties at this time, and the last thing they want is a painful and challenging claims process.
“We want our customers to return to their normal way of life as soon as possible, and have put in place a claims response platform for real-time communication and easy sharing of loss evidence to fast-track claims processing.”
It also assured that Coronation’s emergency payment methods will assist to relieve immediate spending pressures, and help clients get back to functioning state within the quickest period of time.

Similarly, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc. also promised to settle insurance claims for policyholders whose policies cover strikes, riots, and civil commotion (SRCC) extension.
In a mail sent to all its policyholders and stakeholders across the country, cited by The Guardian, the insurer said such claims, like all others, would be expeditiously handled to ensure that customers are back in business as quickly as possible.
While calling on the victims of the #EndSARS protests to file their claims through the company’s official website, and customer care centre, it assured the aggrieved policyholders that they would be attended to passionately.
Commiserating with the victims of the protest, the insurer said: “May God console the families of citizens who have lost their lives and there are certainly glorious days ahead.”
Saying the company has embarked on a campaign to assure policyholders of reliable cover granted for their valued assets, it also enjoined prospective customers to always consider insurance for their assets, health, and also take up micro insurance policies no matter their income level.

The Chairman, Nigeria insurers Association (NIA), Ganiyu Musa, who also spoke on the development, said all valid claims arising from the #EndSARS vandalism and looting would be duly settled according to the terms of the policies obtained.
Musa, who disclosed this yesterday in a media interview, added that assessment of claims from the crisis is currently ongoing across all insurance companies as some of them have started getting notification of claims from policyholders.
He said loss adjusters are already touring the sites of the affected businesses to evaluate the extent of damages.In view of the recapitalisation efforts, he noted that “such claims will have an immediate negative impact on companies’ liquidity, balance sheet, and cash flow. But essentially, insurance was built for times as these, and this is why people take up policies.
Musa reassured that all policyholders – individual, government or corporate with valid insurance policies that are up to date with their premiums payment will be duly compensated, as all members of the NIA will indemnify and provide them the necessary compensation in line with the terms of their policies.
He said: “Policyholders with valid claims have nothing to fear. This is why you took insurance, for times as these. If you are in doubt of how to start processing your claims, you can get in touch with your insurance company or brokers. They will put you through the claims process.”