Fake documents, others threaten motorists’ insurance industry

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By Kayode Tokede

Nigerian motorists are uncon sciously facing another major hazard in respect of exposing their prized possessions to complete loss in the event of an accident, fire or theft even while having insurance certificate among their documents

Although the campaign against motorists patronising fake vehicle registration agents has been on for years, recent revelation by the Nigerian Insurers’ Association (NIA) shows that the criminal attachment to the industry is still very high.

The disturbing development is not only short changing the underwriting industry as regards annual premium intake, it is also placing owners of those vehicles at the risk of not receiving any compensation in the event of theft, fire or any other form of catastrophe.

While unveiling another product, “Wetin U Carry,” recently to enable motorists confirm the genuineness of their insurance certificates, NIA disclosed that about 9.5 million registered vehicles in the country were not properly insured.

Director-General of the association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said out of about 12 million vehicles currently registered in the country, a little over 2.5 million, representing about 20.8 per cent, have genuine insurance certificates.

She said the product, “Wetin U Carry,” was designed to ensure motorists are assisted to confirm the status of their insurance documents, saying that the 2.5 million figure was a far cry from what it should be considering the fact that Lagos alone has about five million vehicles out of the 12 million nationwide.

Speaking on the new campaign, she recalled that earlier in the year, the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code was launched to enable people verify the authenticity of their vehicle insurance, stressing that “in the last quarter of the year, we need to come up with a campaign for motorists to know it is essential for them to be in possession of genuine insurance.

“Wetin U Carry should be on the lips of everybody. The enforcement is not to punish people but to let people know the value and benefits of insurance. Risks are certain; it is to let them know that they can actually secure their future.

“Launching this campaign, we are using various platforms. We are taking off from Lagos but it is not going to end in Lagos. This one is not going to be a punitive measure but just to ensure what you are carrying is genuine.

“Insurance expires at times without knowing but this will remind you of the expiration. We will be starting on October 3, with Lagos State.”

She further pointed out that shortly into the campaign, “we will launch a unified platform that people can buy insurance from. It is a platform you will be directed to by NIA.

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