Insurance firms put #EndSARS claims at N20bn, probe delays payment

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Insured individuals and firms that suffered losses from last year’s public protests against police brutality, popularly known as #EndSARS, have filed for over N20bn claims with insurance companies, it has been learnt.

The development came as memorial protests of last October’s #EndSARS crisis rocked Lagos and other parts of the country on Wednesday.

The Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr Ganiyu Musa, told our correspondent in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that investigations and documentations involved in the processing of the claims filed by the victims and their families were delaying the payment of some parts of the claims.

On Monday, insurance companies under the aegis of the NIA disclosed that they had paid N9bn in claims to customers who suffered losses during last year’s #EndSARS protest, The PUNCH had reported exclusively.

Musa, who is also the group managing director of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, said the outstanding claims would be paid as soon as necessary verifications and documentation were completed.

Asked about the timeline when the necessary investigations and documentation would be completed and claims paid, the insurance body chairman said it was difficult to tell.

He said, “A lot of the claims are still going through documentation (investigation) and the total that may be settled could be more than N20bn depending on the documentation support.

“What has been notified is already more than N20bn. What has been paid is N9bn. We are still waiting for the other documentation of those that were notified.”

“The total could be more than N20bn by the time the full dust settles depending on the documentation support, that is why we can’t say specifically but based on what has been notified, it is already more than N20bn.”

He, however, said insurers would be happier if people took advantage of insurance covers and ensured they were properly insured.

According to him, the majority of the claims paid are from Lagos.

Musa also disclosed that there had been an increase in demand for Strike, Riot and Civil Commotion insurance covers in recent times, especially since last year when the #EndSARS protests rocked the country.

The NIA chairman said the total amount of losses incurred from the #EndSARS protests had never been recorded in the industry as far as SRCC cover was concerned.

While there have been an increase in the demand for SRCC cover, he said the level of demand could not be compared to the level of exposure to the risks.

“Many did not have this kind of insurance before, but losses can happen so people need to have the cover,” he said.

A one-year report unveiling the total losses and claims from the #EndSARS protest were released by the insurance body on Tuesday.

The report which was obtained exclusively from the operators by The PUNCH revealed that the claims were paid on three dead persons and other property losses.

According to the report, the insurance companies settled claims on 718 cases of vandalisation; 93 cases of looting; 113 cases of theft; and 136 cases of loss of cash.

Further findings revealed that 99 claims were settled on malicious damage; eight on business interruptions; 455 on burglary attacks; and 912 on fire and burnt sites.

The Director-General, NIA, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, recalled how the #EndSARS crisis went from mere protests to crisis of unprecedented dimension.

She said, “What started as a protest about the State Anti-Robbery Police unit later snowballed into a crisis of unprecedented dimension with resultant loss of lives and property.

“We commiserate and sympathise with those who lost their loved ones during the crisis as well as those whose businesses suffered one form of loss or the other.

“Following huge losses suffered by businesses in the aftermath of the #EndSARS violence, the insurance industry in line with its role of providing financial intermediation and restoring businesses quickly moved in to provide the necessary cushion for those that have insurance cover and others who suffered losses to their businesses.”

She assured Nigerians that the local insurance industry would continue to live up to its mandate of supporting businesses by paying all genuine claims -.

Ilori called on individuals and corporate entities to imbibe the culture of insuring their lives and property as insurance exists to cushion the harsh effects of unforeseen circumstances and situations.

SOURCE: PUNCH

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