Review hike in third-party vehicle insurance, lawyer tasks NAICOM, threatens legal action
A public interest solicitor, Evans Ufeli, has called for immediate review of recent increment of third party vehicle insurance premium by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), saying it is unlawful, insensitive and against public policy.
The lawyer, in his pre-action letter to the Commission, faulted the announced N15, 000 rate, as against N5, 000, which it was before now. The letter categorically stated: “By the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended (which is a superior legislation to the law establishing the Commission), sovereignty belongs to the people, and their rights, not to be subjected to torture and undue socio-economic hardship, is guaranteed and protected by the law under reference.
“Your policy, therefore, amounts to economic torture, targeted at putting Nigerians under dehumanising condition and the Constitution forbids same.
“We reject the increments just made by the Commission, and affirm that the NAICOM Act did not empower it to fix rates for insurance premium in isolation of the socio-economic condition of the Nigerian state. You must reappraise the law in your own interest, knowing that every policy must conform to socio-economic variables before it can pass the test of time.
“It is against public policy to ambush Nigerians with such policy at a time when the same government has grounded the nation’s economy and has failed to restart it for the benefit of the masses.
“We, therefore, call for a total reversal of the policy to the status quo and we hereby give you five working days to do that, failing, which, we shall have no other options than to proceed against you in the court of law for redress.”
The lawyer faulted the Commission’s letter marked NAICOM/DPR/CIR/46/2022, where it stated that the cost of insurance on all classes of motor insurance, including motorcycles, has been reviewed upwards, adding that the Commission wrongly alluded to Section 7 of the NAICOM Act 1997 and other extant laws, in demanding that the new rate becomes effective from January 1, 2023.