Worried by the prevalence of fake motor insurance certificates on Nigerian roads, and the lack of confidence on insurance industry as result of the activities of quacks, the police have urged insurers to think outside the box by checking this menace.
Consequently, it has called on insurance companies that are having sales outlets in Motor registration office to close such shops, as they are the breeding habitat for fake insurance certificates.
Mary Mbang, a superintendent of police and DPO Sabo Police Station said the police have been inundated with reports of the activities of fake and non-existent insurance companies issuing fake motor certificates to the public in the name of cover.
“We discovered they operate in motor registration office and because there is hardly any means to differentiate the fake from the genuine papers we are left in the dark”.
This is what the insurance industry should fight for and save its image from being destroyed by fraudsters, Mbang.
According to the police officer, 90 percent of vehicles on the road carry fake insurance papers and will not be able to indemnify victims in the event of accident.
I am challenging the insurance industry today to think outside the box and device a means to check to the barest minimum the activities of fake motor insurance because the image of the industry is important and must be protected, Mbang adviced.
Before now the Nigerian Insurers Association had said the industry was losing about N60 billion yearly to fake motor insurance racketeers.
Godwin Wiggle, chairman, NIA said at a press briefing in Lagos that out of the 15 million vehicles in the country, only 3 million are insured properly, thereby leaving 12 million in the hands of fake insurance certificate racketeers.
To arrive at the loss, he noted that the commonest class of motor insurance which is third party goes for N5,000 and that, if 12 million vehicles are uninsured that would amount to N60 billion. He noted that if comprehensive policies are considered the amount would over shoot N60 billion.
He stressed that the association is working assiduously to kick the racketeers out of their illicit operations through the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) initiative which was designed to enable operators upload data of insured vehicles and also help the public verify the genuineness of the papers they possess.
He called on the public to ensure they patronise registered underwriters (insurance companies), brokers and agents, stressing that fake papers would always deny people claims at the time of loss.
Wiggle also called on government agencies saddled with the responsibility of enforcing stipulated laws to perform their duties as expected. He added that lack of enforcement of laws has remained a major setback to growth and development in the country.
He also called on the government to show leadership by buying insurance, adding that enforcement of laws will cause insurance premium to soar. On marine policies, Wiggle said over 7000 policies have been uploaded by underwriters into the recently deployed marine insurance module under the NIID.