With the formal flagging off of compulsory insurances in the country, the public has got a lot to benefit from the industry, with compensations on loses which hitherto were swept under the carpet.
In this vein, occupiers or users of commercial buildings, workers in construction sites, third-party victims of motor accidents as well as hospital patients who suffer damages or death as a result of professional negligence of medical practitioners would no longer go uncompensated.
This is the new direction the industry regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the practitioners are toeing to make insurance more relevant and useful to the society. The commission through its developmental project, the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI), is promoting the full implementation of six different compulsory insurances as provided by law.
Speaking at the flag off of the campaign for implementation in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Fola Daniel, commissioner for insurance, disclosed that the commission was not happy to see Nigerians die in motor accidents or during collapse of buildings without any form of compensation, stating that "the situation cannot be allowed to continue like this."
Daniel stated that a new regulatory regime on insurance that would positively affect the citizens and corporate bodies would hopefully commence soon, saying the commission would not fail to invoke the sanctions of fines and prison terms against any individual or organisation that fails to comply with the laws of the nation on compulsory insurance products.
Besides, it will not hesitate to cancel the operating licence of any insurance company that fails to pay genuine claims of the policyholders or operating licence of broker/agent who fails to remit the clients premium to the underwriters within the stipulated time.
While the commissioner believes that a lot of education and enlightenment would go on to make the public understand the concepts, he revealed an enforcement team was being put in place. The team, according to him, would include the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Commission, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, states and federal town planning authorities, states and federal ministries of labour, Insurance Consumers Association of Nigeria, and the states traffic management authorities, among others.
"Practitioners will for month in a year carry out nationwide inspection of the affected properties and organisations, while the insurance agents will commence work on April 1, 2010, to market the products to the citizens and corporate bodies in Nigeria.
The six compulsory products being promoted include:
*Builders Liability Insurance: a product created by the provision of the law under Section 64 of Insurance Act 2003.
*Occupiers Liability Insurance: product created by the provision of the law under Section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003.
*Health Care Professional Indemnity: product created by the provision of the law under Section 45 of NHIS Act 1999.
*Statutory Group Life Insurance: product created by the provisions of Section 3(2) a, b and 9(3) of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
* Workmen's Compensation Insurance: product already in existence inline with Section 40 of the workmen's Act 1987, and
*Third Party Motor Insurance: product already in existence inline with Section 68 of the Insurance Act 2003.