A number of claims request arising from losses incurred by government, businesses and individuals from #EndSARS protest damages across Nigeria may be turned down by insurance companies, BusinessDay investigation reveals.
Facts emerging from underwriters reveal that losses resulting from incidents like the current #EndSARS protest, which was eventually hijacked by hoodlums that led to destruction and looting of properties and assets, are classified as riots, vandalism or civil commotions, and so are covered only by extension on normal insurance.
According to insurance operators, only insurances with extension for riot, vandalism and civil commotions will be honoured, so this does not cover ordinary normal policies.
“The #EndSARS loss incident is covered in insurance, under policies that extend to riot and civil commotion. So, fire and burglary or commercial property insurances, if extended, cover these kinds of damages,” an insurer says.
Ganiyu Musa, chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) who spoke at a media interview on Monday, said all valid claims arising from the #EndSARS vandalism and looting from policyholders would be duly settled according to the terms of the policies obtained.
Assessment of claims from the crisis is currently ongoing across the 55 insurance companies, as some of them have started getting notification of claims from policyholders, Musa said.
He stated that presently, loss adjusters were already touring the sites of the affected companies and businesses evaluating the extent of damages done.
However, he noted that claims from these damages would have an immediate negative impact on companies’ liquidity, balance sheet and cash flow but essentially, insurance was built for times as these and this was why people take up policies.
He gave assurance that all policyholders, both individuals and businesses with valid insurance policies that have been paid for, would be duly compensated as all members of the NIA would indemnify and provide them the necessary pay out in line with the terms of their policies.
“Policyholders with valid claims have nothing to fear. This is why you took insurance, for times as these. If you are in doubt of how to start processing your claims, you can get in touch with your insurance company or brokers. They will put you through the claims process.
“For those that have not taken or do not have any form of insurance policy, this is the best time to do so because this is the essence of insurance,” he said.
Eddie Efekoha, managing director/CEO, Consolidate Hallmark Insurance plc, said his company would settle insurance claims for policyholders whose policies cover Strike, Riot and Civil Commotion (SRCC) extension.
The company, who stated this in a mail sent to all its policyholders and stakeholders across the country, noted that such claims, like all others, would be expeditiously handled to ensure that customers were back in business as quickly as possible.
While calling on the victims of the #EndSARS protests to file their claims through the company’s website and customer care centre, it assured the aggrieved policyholders that they would be attended to passionately.
Daniel Braie, managing director/CEO, Linkage Assurance plc, said the company’s system for prompt payment of claims was already in place to pay all valid claims.
He however noted that the #EndSARS incident was covered under policy extension like riot, civil commotion and other kinds of unrest.
Yinka Adekoya, CEO, Coronation Insurance, has also reassured the firm’s clients and the general public that following the recent monumental loss of human life and damage to property and assets across the nation, it had shifted its highest gear to get her customers the most appropriate help as quickly as possible, at this time of need.
She said, “We believe that insurance companies must ensure their clients do not have to wait for assistance after a disaster occurs by proactively collating information of damage and losses as well as responding to claims with speed and precision.
“We are well aware that our customers are dealing with numerous difficulties at this time and the last thing they want is a painful and challenging claims process.
“We want our customers to return to their normal way of life as soon as possible, and have put in place a claims response platform for real-time communication and easy sharing of loss evidence to fast-track claims processing.”
Aside the number of people that lost their lives or got injured who may claim from health insurance, there are also public and government assets razed by fire; bank, shopping malls looted and vandalised; private businesses looted and vandalised, as well as home of politicians were also affected.