Nigerian Insurers’ Association
As part of the efforts to eradicate fake motor insurance in the country, insurance operators under the aegis of the Nigerian Insurers’ Association (NIA) have presented an unspecified number of mobile handheld devices to the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) in Ogun State.
The association said 500,000 mobile handheld devices would be distributed to law enforcement agencies across the nation to help them identify vehicles carrying genuine third party insurance as mandated by the Third Party Motor Insurance Act.
The device that was promised last year was encapsulated in the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) project initiated by the association. The database seeks to eradicate fake insurances, minimise multiple fraudulent claims and most provide authentic, qualitative and comprehensive data on insurance for national policy formulation.
This database, it said, would go a long way to reduce red tape and corruption by integrating the information in the database with the vehicle registration system of the Federal Road Safety commission (FRSC), the Police, and other relevant government agencies.
The association also assured that the database would facilitate easy collation and dissemination of statistical date of all insurance companies and serve as a vehicle for easy identification of genuine insurance documents by relevant authorised persons.
It promised that when NIID takes off, the industry would be free from fraudulent insurances, inadequate pricing of insurance products, multiple claims and unethical conducts as well as help to eliminate fake insurance and ensure the institution of a robust database for the industry.
The Director-General of the association, Mr. Sunday Thomas, and another council member and Managing Director of Staco Insurance Plc, Mr. Shakiru Oyefeso, who represented the association at the presentation ceremony, were received the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Kayode Ademolake, and the Chief VIO of the state, Mr. Bayo Otuyemi.
Oyefeso said the nation’s insurance industry was worried about the inability of Nigerians to enjoy the social and economic benefits of genuine insurance as a result of the activities of fake operators.
According to him, the situation is worrisome because in the event of accident causing loss of property or lives, victims and dependants would get no compensation as most of the insurance certificates held by many motorists are not genuine.
“This to a very large extent has brought bad image to the insurance industry. What we have done with this database is to ensure that all genuine insurance covers are documented and verifiable at any given time, and this we have done with motor insurance.
“A key aspect of the project is the verification of genuine insurance policies via mobile handsets. A standard mobile device bundled with mobile app is available for law enforcement agents for on-the-road verification of genuine insurance documents. The application is available 24/7 and works with all networks in Nigeria,” he said.
Oyefeso also reaffirmed the association’s optimism that the officers would put the devices to good use and ensure that motorists in the state get original insurances to enable victims of road accidents to get adequate compensations going forward.
Responding, Ademolake commended the association for evolving a technology of this nature that would enhance services of vehicle inspection officers to the public.
According to him, the device would help the insurance industry and the state government to keep track of the registered vehicles plying its roads, enhance data collection and most importantly, generate revenue. He also assured operators in the insurance industry of government’s support and cooperation to make the initiative work.
NIA embarked on the NIID project in the last quarter of 2010, saying it would develop and implement a centralised database system, which will be a repository of all insurance policies written by its member-companies.
It said it would focus on setting up the consolidated data base last year, assuring that it would be operational before June 2011 in partnership with Courteville Investment Plc. In addition, the project was expected to support the production of insurance certificates, initially for motor and marine insurances, that are verifiable and traceable at the point of issuance and also at any other point during its life cycle.
It was also meant to serve as a platform for the verification of insurance certificates issued or presented as evidence of insurance for motor and marine covers at the first instance and then other classes of insurance by law enforcement agents.
It is expected that the database would also go a long way to assist qualitative analysis of industry performance and serve as source of historical data for benchmarking and enable the financial information of NIA member-companies to be rendered electronically for ease of analysis.