Determined to eradicate incidence of fake motor insurance policy in Nigeria, the umbrella body of insurance companies in the country, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has ruled that insurance companies that failed to upload motor policies on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) are to paybN20,000 fine on behalf of motorists caught by the digital camera installed by the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).
Daily Champion gathered that many insurance firms have been charged by the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service and had paid the fine due to their negligence to comply with the law compelling them to upload sold policies within 24 hours.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mrs Yetunde Ilori, at a media parley recently, said the association has being moving from one insurance company to another to drum the need for operators to upload their sold motor policies on the NIID.
She noted that the NIID remains one of the best ways to curb fake motor insurance policy, adding that to help vehicle owners to easily verify the genuineness of their policies, the insurance industry introduced the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *565*11#.
According to her, awareness on usage of USSD code *565*11# is really gaining more ground as people daily rely on it to settle issues bothering on genuineness of their policies.
From left: Director General, Nigerian Insurers Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori and Managing Director, NSIA Insurance Limited, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu at an event in Lagos.
Chairman of the NIA, Tope Smart, said the code would help bring insurance closer to the people and ultimately eliminate fake insurance certificates in the market.
He posited that in 2010 the association took a major step towards eliminating fake insurance certificates in the market through the inception of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), stressing that the database went live in 2011 and insurance policies obtained by motorists could be checked real time online on the internet and through dedicated hand held devices.
He stated that the objective of the NIID is to serve as an authentic database of the Nigerian insurance industry data providing qualitative statistics/analysis of the industry data! as well as a vehicle for easy verification of genuine insurance certificates by all stakeholders and to reduce incidences of fraudulent insurance transactions especially for motor and marine policies.
Smart posited that the industry has continued to reap the benefits of the scheme, adding that prior to the establishment of the platform, cloning and faking of insurance certificates was a thriving business, but the establishment of the database has assisted the industry in reducing the incidents of fake insurance certificates in the market and that presently, there are over three million vehicle details on the platform.
He noted that the platform has been enhanced to include stolen vehicles and claims reporting modules in response to the challenges thrown up by actions of suspected fraudsters that made multiple claims with the intent to defraud the industry over the last few years.
“The NIID platform had been operational nationwide, but with challenges in verification in areas with poor internet coverage. Verification of motor certificates through the dedicated devices became highly impaired due to the vicissitudes of internet operations in the hinterlands. This led to the introduction of the USSD technology.
“The USSD is a Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology used to send text between a mobile phone and an application programme in the network. It works independent of internet connectivity. In this instance, any mobile phone (not necessarily a smartphone) would communicate with the NIID system to retrieve policy status whenever required.
“It is hoped that with the USSD, we would have fully overcome the problems associated with the dedicated devices as it guarantees uninterrupted service throughout the country and on all networks. Our existing and prospective customers now have the opportunity to confirm the genuineness of their respective policies at the time of purchase to avoid any embarrassment should claim occur,” he said.
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