Insurance firms that delay in payment of genuine claims may have to pay such claims with additional interests if the draft for amendment of the 2003 Insurance Act presented to the National Assembly by the insurance Industry’s bill amendment committee scales through.
This was disclosed by the President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Mr. Sola Tinubu at a quarterly press briefing organised by the council in Lagos.
Tinubu, who is also the Managing Director of Scib Insurance Brokers, explained that the enactment was aimed at facilitating timely payment of genuine claims among insurance underwriters. He said that the policies that will enhance the growth and development of the insurance sector are enshrined in the draft bill. He said the ministry of finance will act on it and before sending it to the ministry of justice for onward presentation to the executive before it finally gets to the law national assembly.
He said though the ministry of finance has promised that by the time the amended bill comes out, the industry would have nothing less than a consolidated bill. The amendment process has been on for eight years and has stalled actions that would have facilitated the growth and development of the industry.
Both insurance underwriters, brokers and other arms of the industry have been clamouring for the amended of the insurance act.
Among other issues they hoped to be addressed through the amended Act, is the enforcement of compulsory insurance policy and punishment of violators.
The five compulsory insurance policies slated for enforcement were launched in 2009, but since then people have been violating the rules without punishment because the industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission, said it was not empowered to punish any offender.
The draft for the proposed 2003 insurance Act amendment provides punishment for the violators.
Tinubu, who spoke on other contemporary issues in the insurance sector said the industry still maintains its stand on ‘no premium no cover’ and will not grant cover to anybody who fails to back up insurance policy agreement with premium payment.
He said even the federal governmrnt ‘s group life insurance cover for 2017 has not been fully paid for as such, the industry cannot afford to give government full cover.
According to him, this being the case, many civil servants who died last year will have no benefit from group life insurance cover.
On micro insurance, Tinubu, said the new distribution channels approved by NAICOM were meant to ensure all inclusive insurance services.
It is meant to ensure that rural dwellers have access to insurances like city dwellers,
Furthermore, he said the new guidelines released by the regulator was meant to create new people that will market the micro insurance products but that the guideline did not preclude brokers from selling micro insurance.