Over 70 per cent of vehicles on Nigerian roads carry fake motor insurance certificates, the National Insurance Commission has said.
The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, disclosed this to our correspondent, while speaking on efforts to sanitise the market.
Daniel said, “We are having leakages in motor insurance premium; over 70 per cent of vehicles all over the country are carrying fake papers. The insurance industry should no longer be using paper policy, it should go electronic.”
“We have worked actively with the Nigerian Insurers Association to migrate away from paper certificate, which is easily forged.”
According to him, going completely paperless will bring an end to the circulation of fake papers in the market, just as the circulation of fake driving licence was stopped when it was changed to the electronic system.
Last year, the commission, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, raided some offices that were notorious for marketing fake insurance papers to unsuspecting motorists in different parts of the country and arrested some of the perpetrators.
In 2008, NAICOM had put the percentage of motorists in possession of fake insurance papers at 90 per cent.
Daniel said the adoption of the electronic system would help to completely deal with the issue of circulation of fake insurance papers in the country.
The Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, said the industry would soon officially introduce the Nigerian Insurance Industry’s Database, which was developed to bring an end to the menace of fraudsters in the industry.
He said the NIID was already undergoing a test run and would allow all motorists to be able to confirm the authenticity of their policy in the shortest possible time.
To confirm the authenticity of an insurance certificate through the NIID, Ladipo-Ajayi said, “A motorist can text his policy registration number to 33125, and get the verification within 30 seconds, or go to www.askniiid.org, which will direct him on how to make the verification.”
He added that NIA had distributed about 500,000 mobile phones to law enforcement agencies in different states of the federation to help in the verification of insurance certificates.
According to him, the law requires that it is only registered insurance companies in the country that can sell valid motor insurance certificates.
The chairman said if vehicles were involved in minor accidents, the owners needed not to fight each other if they had genuine insurance certificates, but should allow their insurance companies to bear the risks on their behalf.
“The black market thrives because the certificate they give is not worth it, which is why they have driven the price of insurance down. They can afford to sell low because they are not offering you anything. An authentic motor insurance will protect you and the vehicle,” Ladipo-Ajayi said.
Source: Punch/Nike Popoola