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Underwriters resist government’s move to cut group life premium

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Nigerian underwriters have resisted moves by the Federal Government to reduce the premium for the group life policy for its workers.
  
This follows the government’s inability meet up with the group life premium obligations, leading to a situation where some of the workers could not have cover for two years – 2018 and 2019.
  
Sources said the Federal Government through the Office of Head of Service of the Federation, had approached insurers to reduce the rate on group life for workers, a development the underwriters rejected, as it was considered to be inimical to their business and the life of the workers.
  
But some have attributed the inability of government to pay the premium accruable to the change of leadership in the Office of the Head of Service.
 

 
According to some underwriters, the government in a bid to cut the premium had several meetings with executives of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), and the leadership of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA).
  
The engagements were to seek the reduction of the rate charged on group life, but failed to convince the insurance regulator and operators, as they stood their ground, relying on a circular previously issued by the government, mandating all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), to comply with the rules on group life policy.
 
It was also gathered that NIA is presently engaging the government to see that group life policy is procured for government workers this year.
  
Worried about the lack of policy for the workers, especially the security agencies, the Nigeria Police recently called on NAICOM to grant it waver to enable the force provide cover for its workforce.
   
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had made the call at the 2019 Annual Interactive Session with Consumers of Insurance Products, in Lagos.
  
Adamu, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner for Police, Abdul Suleiman Abdul, noted that the group life for police officers elapsed in June 2019, an indication that families of officers that died since the cover elapsed cannot claim any insurance benefits.
  
He also called on insurance companies to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and leverage this to educate security personnel on health issues, and also execute capacity building for the officers, stressing that such efforts would help enhance the lifespan of the officers and reduce claims payment.
 
 
Adamu also implored insurers to, as part of the CSR, provide scholarship for children and wards of deceased security officers, and urged them to live up to their responsibility in settling all outstanding claims of deceased officers.
   
A peep into the data of the NIA revealed that no premium was paid by the government in 2018, and in line with the “No Premium, No Cover” rule, no claim was paid to workers and families of MDAs that ought to be covered.
  
In 2017, some insurance companies paid over N328.74million group life claims to Nigeria Police officers.
  
According to NIA, the amount was paid by three life insurers, namely, Custodian Life Assurance Limited; Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited; and FBNInsurance Limited.


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Mohammed AdamuNAICOMNIA
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