In an unprecedented measure to redeem the image of the insurance industry in Nigeria, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) – the umbrella body of the underwriting companies in the industry – have expelled three member companies for claims payment default.
The Director General of the Association, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, in a statement signed by her said “The Governing Council has approved the expulsion of three insurance companies from it’s membership for failing to meet their obligations to policyholders , thus negating the principles of insurance.
The affected companies are Niger Insurance Plc, Industrial and General Insurance Company Limited (IGI) and Standard Alliance Insurance Company Limited”.
She said that the affected companies have been ordered to cease forthwith from the use of the association’s logo on their letter heads or their official documents.
However, the Chairman of the association, Ganiyu Musa, had earlier intimated at a press briefing last month with Insurance editors in Lagos that the association has been doing some house cleaning by beaming it’s search-light on the activities of member companies who had failed to pay genuine claims to the insured in the industry.
The NIA boss explained that they had to use primarily on discipline among member companies . “We have to be very harsh. We have an active disciplinary committee and conflict resolution. The committee has been strengthened and empowered. We go beyond the usual refrain or chastisement to taking active steps to discipline erring members. We have a few of our members that have been suspended and some about to be expelled. In a few weeks when the process are completed, we will release the names of the erring companies to the public.”
“We believe it is very important to send the message to our members that when you carry the NIA badge, it should count for something. There is no amount of marketing that you can do if the experience of the insuring public is bad, then we cannot make progress in the industry. We believe that after cleansing ourselves of bad image, we can go back to the public to say all the good things that insurance stands for.”
However, the IGI spokesman, Steve Ilo, in reaction said it was not true that the three companies had been expelled, according to him, “yes it is true the NIA received complaints from their clients against us we have since resolved it.”