Brokers connive with vehicle owners to dodge insurance’
Why is insurance unpopular? Some stakeholders have an answer. They are Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Federal Fire Service, insurance consumers and others.
The stakeholders spoke at the Almond Insurance Consumers Forum in Lagos.
The VIOs said insurance brokers connive with vehicle owners to issue fake or expired insurance policies, which are uploaded on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) as part of particulars of impounded vehicles.
Assistant Chief Vehicle Inspector Officer, Mrs. Adeshola Adeboshin, said such action was unfortunate as they (VIOs) rely on the NIID through the use of a verifier, Auto Inspector, to verify fake and expired particulars.
According to her, they use this medium without having to stop all vehicles to know if they have genuine particulars. She said all they do is input an upcoming vehicle plate number on the device and it brings up its details.
She explained that they only stop vehicles that have fake and expired particulars while on patrol or at checkpoints.
She said it was regrettable that the easy way for them to check and apprehend vehicles with fake particulars, especially insurance, is being threatened by the activities of some unscrupulous brokers.
Mrs Adeboshin urged the regulatory authority and other trade associations to address the situation. She pointed out they had been able to detect the brokers nocturnal acts as they were able to differentiate between the time they impounded the vehicle for fake insurance certificate and when the genuine certificate was uploaded on the NIID database.
She warned that anyone caught with fake particulars would face criminal charges.
Meanwhile, the Federal Fire Service said insurers were yet to remit money accruable from the 0.25 per cent Fire Service Maintenance Fund between the insurance industry and the Federal Fire Service.
Fire Officer, Ahmadu Sakiru, said the 0.25 per cent is a revenue to be contributed by insurance firms to the Fire Service Maintenance Fund.
FRSC said the Commission had discovered that may school buses do not have insurance certificates.
Its Public Relations Officer, Paul Abiti, said the FRSC regulation on school buses requires that they have comprehensive insurance. He called on the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) to engage the schools by enlightening them to hasten compliance.
Chairman of the occasion, a former Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, said the inability of law enforcement agents to enforce the purchase of insurance by Okada and tricycle (Keke) owners have continued to deny insurance operators billions of Naira yearly.
He said insurance companies parade good products for Keke and Okada riders, but lack of enforcement has made the parties not to buy the products, noting that when the laws were being enforced, the parties were buying the products but now they drive without insurance cover, because they were not compelled to buy.
He urged the government to support insurance by enforcing the procurement of compulsory insurances, adding that the insurance operators could not be selling products and at the same time carrying out enforcement.
Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) President, Boniface Okezie, urged insurers to reach out to okada riders and keke drivers, advising them to buy insurance as it would enhance the premium base of the industry and by extension, shareholders.
At the end of the event, a communiqué was drawn. The forum agreed that there was need for the industry to create awareness on what insurance is and how the public could benefit from its protection. The industry should put in place more efforts to promote insurance literacy in the country, they added.
They also said the insurance practitioners should put in more efforts to leverage on modern technology in the distribution of insurance products and that there should be an enhanced collaboration between the industry and the relevant government agencies in promoting compulsory insurances in the country.
“The industry should put in place a more efficient complaint bureau system to settle disputes arising in insurance contracts in the country. The companies in the market should strive to set up efficient research departments that would enable them to identify the insuring needs of the publics.
“There is need for training and re-training of the insurance market operators so that they should be abreast with the contents of the products that they are marketing to the insuring public. Insurance practitioners should look for the opportunities coming from the economic recession, more so that recession is risk and insurance is all about risk management. There is need for the industry to adopt modern technology to efficiently remind policyholders of policies that were due for renewals,” Okezie added.