NAICOM facilitates payment of N540 million claims
THE National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has successfully resolved 34 complaints arising from disputes over delayed or non-settlement of genuine insurance claims in the first half of 2015.
The monetary value of the resolved complaints paid to the various complainants amounted to N539.76 million. According to a press statement signed by Head, Corporate Services, Rasaaq Salami, said “NAICOM received a total of 147 complaints from policyholders, beneficiaries or their representatives during the period under review.
Majority of these complaints are at advanced stages of being resolved. The Commission employs a civil process of resolving these disputes and complaints through correspondences and mediation meetings between all stakeholders”.
It will be recalled that the Complaint Bureau Unit of the Commission was established in line with extant laws to process and resolve complaints received from aggrieved insurance consumers and beneficiaries on all facets of insurance business in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Commission has given underwriting firms in the nation’s insurance industry up till September, 31, to clear backlogs of outstanding claims in their books.
As a result, with effect from October, 1, an insurance firm that fails to comply with this directives will face appropriate sanctions as prescribed by the Insurance Act 2003.
A directive issued by the commission titled ‘‘Claims settlement and the image of the insurance industry” signed by Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, to that effect warned all insurance firms to comply immediately or face the wrath of the law.
The circular stated: ‘‘You would recall that the commission collated claims details from all insurance companies and complains on delayed and unsettled claims from members of the insuring public.
In its efforts to verify the persistent complaints of the consumers of insurance about an unsavory attitude of the providers that has brought the image of the industry to disrepute. ‘
Our study of the records and complains received has confirmed the truth of this situation which happily is perpetrated only by a few, whose sad posture stains the efforts of the many.
In the continued effort of the commission to sanitize the industry of this unpalatable tags and restore the confidence of the insuring public all insurers are hereby directed to note that: “Henceforth, all claims must be handled strictly in accordance with the provision of the Insurance Act 2003.
As a palliative gesture, the commission shall allow a grace period until the 31st September, 2015 for companies to clear all backlogs of outstanding claims as provided by the Insurance Act.
From 1st October, 2015, the commission shall evoke the full application of punitive sections of the Insurance Act, including but not limited to, sections 8(1)(m), 70(1)(b) and 70(2) without further recourse. Section 8(1)(m) states :‘‘The insurer who persistently fails to pay claims promptly.
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