By Ebere Nwoji
With the recent statistics from Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) that only 2.5 million out of a total 12 million vehicles plying Nigerian roads have genuine motor insurance cover, insurance sector operators have reiterated their resolve to ensure that the remaining 9.5 million uninsured vehicles on roads are insured.
The insurers also expressed optimism in doubling their premium income this year through various activities that would ensure that Nigerians understand the benefits of insurance and that only genuine insurance underwriters receive premium from the public.
The Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Tope Smart, said this at a press briefing held in Lagos recently.
According to him, insurers were seeking for the support of law enforcement agencies and other relevant government bodies to not only ensure that the remaining 9.5 million vehicles with fake or without insurance certificates are brought to book for disciplinary action that will compel them to get genuine insurance but also enforce other compulsory insurances in Nigeria.
Smart, said one of the goals the NIA set to achieve this year was to block every parallel insurance market set up by fakers through which insurance premium drip off in the industry.
He said the association set to achieve this by making Nigerians understand the benefits insurance would give to them and willingly patronise genuine operators.
He said the NIA had in addition to its implementation of the Nigeria Insurance Industry Data base since 2011, this year intensified fight against insurance certificate fakers through the launch of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *565*11# .
He also said the association is currently partnering with fintechs for the digitalisation of the marine insurance certificate.
He said these efforts were geared towards ensuring significant growth of the industry’s premium in the current year and in reducing frictions on Nigerian roads.
Motor third Party insurance, is one of the compulsory insurance policies in Nigeria that has suffered abuse from touts.
The compulsory insurance policies are those which every person must have or face penalties for default.
The Motor Third Party Insurance as required by the Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance) Act of 1950, is the minimum insurance that owners of motor vehicles plying Nigerian roads are required to have. The policy covers liability for death or bodily injury to a third party arising from the use of the vehicle.
Section 68 of the Insurance Act 2003 extends the liability to cover damage to the property of a third party to the tune of N1 million. It also makes it a criminal offence not to have a motor vehicle third party insurance policy and the penalty for non-compliance is imprisonment for one year or a fine of N250,000 or both.
The Director General of NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, warned Nigerians to ensure they renew their expired Motor Third Party Insurance Certificates, saying through the use of IT solutions, any uninsured vehicle could be detected and tracked down at any spot.