Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Nigerian insurance companies have assured businesses under their coverage that were destroyed by hoodlums last week of adequate compensation.
However, they said any victim who bought only basic cover without paying for extension would not get claims, adding that victims are expected to have extension to cover strike, riot, and civil commotion (SRCC), under which protest is categorised.
Speaking on the ‘Global Business Report,’ a programme monitored on ARISE News Channel, the Chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr. Ganiyu Musa, said the thoughts of his members were with the families grieving and mourning the loss of their loved ones.
Musa, who is the Group Managing Director of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, said following the significant impact, in terms of loss of property and other dislocations in the past few days, “Insurance is at the centre of everything as it stands.”
He said insurance firms have sent out risk adjusters to various sites across the country to assess the level of damage.
Musa added: “Of course, a number of our members have been receiving notification of claims both with respect to the damage to property and ancillary losses as a result of the losses.
“Clearly, insurance was built for times like these. That is essentially why people take insurance.”
He, however, said the development would have an immediate negative impact on the liquidity, balance sheet and cash flow of firms in the industry.
He said: “This is the whole essence of insurance. For all the folks affected, both individuals and businesses that have valid insurance policies that have been paid for, we would provide them with the necessary compensation in line with the terms of their policy.
“They don’t have anything to fear or worry. They should get in in touch with their insurers if they are in doubt and if they had used intermediaries such as brokers, they should also get in touch with their brokers to take them through how to file their claims.
“But those that have not taken insurance, this is the essence. When things like these happen, our role as insurance underwriters is to provide you with peace of mind that we would be able to provide the necessary succour to enable you to pick up the pieces; rebuild your businesses and move on in life.
“This is the time to talk to your insurance once you had purchased a valid policy and they would take you through the claims’ process. Our business was set up to handle an incidence of this nature.”
However, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBNInsurance, while responding to THISDAY’s enquiry, said: “We are purely business operators and can only pay claims purely on business ground.
“Insurers can only pay claims to those whose policy purchase covered the cause of the damage through extension.”
He said anybody who did not buy the extension policy would have to wait for the government’s support.
He urged the government to come to the aid of those whose businesses were damaged in order to sustain livelihoods and jobs.
On the capacity of insurers to pay the huge claims from the civil unrest, Ojumah said: “Any insurance underwriter who issues a policy has the capacity to cover the account. This is because such underwriter must have purchased adequate reinsurance cover for the particular account.”
He said policies issued by insurers, affected by the protests, have reinsurance cover, therefore, there is capacity on the part of insurers to pay claims.
Also speaking, the Managing Director Consolidated Hallmark Insurance, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, assured clients of prompt claims’ payment.