The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has warned insurance operators against dealing with unlicensed brokers and agents to facilitate insurance businesses.
Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, the chairman of the Sub-Committee on Publicity of the Insurers Committee, said this while briefing journalists on the outcome of a meeting in Lagos.
Ms Nwachukwu, the managing director of Royal Exchange General Insurance, stated that NAICOM observed the practice during the ongoing risk-based supervision in some insurance companies.
“The regulator spoke to us very strongly to ensure that all the agents and brokers we deal with are licensed up-to-date or renewed, as against doing business with brokers with expired licences or unregistered agents,” she said.
According to her, NAICOM also recommended self-regulation to underwriters regarding RBS.
The sub-committee chairman disclosed that NAICOM directed that various underwriting firms’ boards approve and implement whistle-blowing policies in their respective companies.
Ms Nwachukwu said the committee also agreed on the need for the insurance industry to increase annuity awareness and continue building trust to ensure that the product line grows significantly.
“With the amount of funds in the pension industry, we should expect a lot of that to be downloaded into the insurance industry through annuity,” she said.
The sub-committee chairman revealed that NAICOM also expressed concern over the backlog of unpaid claims and charged the defaulting insurers to settle all outstanding claims as soon as possible.
Ms Nwachukwu said the committee resolved that the unpaid claims should be publicised on the Nigeria Insurers Association(NIA) platform for the first three months to encourage those with lodged claims to come for it.
“After the three months and we see that the impact is still outstanding, companies may be mandated to do their own publicity. A lot of unpaid claims have been reported, but supporting documents were not provided, and as such, they remain as outstanding claims for so many years,” Ms Nwachukwu explained.
According to her, the insurance operators further discussed the need for NAICOM to continue to engage the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Consolidated Insurance Bill.
Ms Nwachukwu noted that insurers had also begun harmonising the ECOWAS Brown Card to ensure that the same certificate is issued across all countries using the brown card.