Incessant complaints from the insuring public have caused the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to review its stance against self regulation thereby stepping up action in enforcement of compliance of claims obligations by insurance companies.
Stem by influx of complaints to the Commission, a source said NAICOM has in recent times, received numerous complaints from the website which was rebuilt to meet current trends, adding that the commission is working on the complaints which are mostly on claims issues.
Mohammed Kari, Commissioner for Insurance, said the Commission is alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policyholders.
He said that the commission will adopt stringent measures that would compel insurance firms to honor their claims obligation.
“We are however, alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policyholders. These sad failures include the companies’ inability or outright refusal to settle inter-company balances. These claims and balances have risen to an unacceptable level where again we are now required to withdraw the self-regulation option given operators to total enforcement of the law,” he said.
It would be recalled that at the inception of Alhaji Mohammed Kari’s tenure as the Commissioner for Insurance on July 2015, an ultimatum was issued to all insurance firms owing outstanding claims to pay up by end of September same year. In January 2016, the Commission given the update of the new policy had said that companies had complied with the regulatory directive and there weren’t any outstanding claims due for payment at the time.
At the 2017 seminar for journalists organised by the NAICOM in Kaduna, Kaduna State in September, the CFI had lamented the attitude of insurance firms on the settlement of claims as he vowed not to allow operators continue to sit on genuine claims.
Although, claims issue is a continuum given the fact that insurance firms are in the business of indemnifying a loss, the Commissioner had continuously pointed out that non settlement of claims has been the bane of the industry.
But the recent development occasioned by the launch of the Commission’s website has opened a fresh vista to the issue of claims. Leveraging on the availability of the new and functional website, it was reported that the Commission has been bombarded with complaints by aggrieved insuring public to present their numerous complaints to the commission.
On the portal for electronic transmission of accounts, the source said works are almost completed on the portal, stressing that the commission is taking its time to ensure that the portal did not run into problem when it comes alive.
NAICOM had pledged to launch the portal this year, adding that it would leverage information technology to improve effectiveness and reduce regulatory burden of manual operations on Insurance Institutions.