• Real Estate Surveyors & Valuers + Facility Managers

Insurers Escape Millions of naira Claims on Monday’s Rainstorm

Rate this item
(0 votes)

The nation’s insurance industry may have escaped millions of naira in claims payments which would have gone to victims of yesterday’s rain storms that wreaked havoc in many parts of the country, particularly Lagos, where the impact was devastating.

The operators may have found relief in the failure of building owners to insure their properties, as required by section 65 of the Insurance Act 2003, which makes occupiers liability (building) insurance compulsory.

Business Day investigation shows that the downpour led to the collapse of buildings, electric poles, billboards, telecom masts, trees and damage to people’s assets and even deaths, estimated to run into several millions of naira.

Part of the Act states that "Occupiers’ Liability (Public Building) Insurance shall cover  all business and office premises (government, corporate, private); all hotels, guest houses and hostels; all residential buildings that are let out in full or in part; all recreational centers, club houses, cinema halls etc; all schools and training institutions; all petrol and gas stations; and all other buildings where members of the public have ingress or egress as licensee; tenants; lodgers; and for educational medical; business and recreational purposes".

The implication is that insurance companies would have commenced  assessment of the damage done, with a view to paying claims. This will not be so however, as property owners and landlords have defied the provisions of the Act, which mandates them to insure their properties for the benefit of third parties.

The Lagos incident, analysts say resonates the need to protect lives and assets through adequate insurance, such that victims of accidents resulting from collapse; fire; storm; earthquake and flood can be compensated by insurance companies.
Insurance operators, who spoke with Business Day yesterday after the incident, expressed concern that the year might have heavier rains, more than what happened yesterday, urging Nigerians to embrace compulsory insurance in their own interests and those of third parties.

Though they could not ascertain the actual value of losses  resulting from the rain storm, they believe compensation for victims could have run into several millions of naira, if there was adequate insurance. Meanwhile, they said the industry would rise to its obligations to meet claims arising from the insured assets.

Sunday Thomas, director- general, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) said the damage on Monday, goes beyond the destruction of buildings, but extra cost to third parties who have suffered losses as a result of the incident.

Thomas said this was driving home the need for everyone to protect their lives and properties against the unexpected "We have got to be conscious of what can happen to our assets and spend little money to protect them, the DG said.

Mayowa Adeduro, managing director, Anchor Insurance plc said though he was yet to ascertain the level of damage, he believed it would run into millions of naira.

According to him, most of the damages he saw on his way to the office  were insurable risks. He encouraged people to begin to take insurance very seriously.

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:43
Login to post comments