The management of Universal Insurance Plc says the company’s policy of prompt payment of all genuine claims have continued to pave the way for the insurance firm as its policyholders have been commending it, while new customers are making the organisation their choice.
The company’s managing director, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, said that the company is presently meeting all its obligations, especially in the area of prompt claims settlement to clients and other stakeholders, adding that the insurer is liquid enough to discharge its responsibilities as the need arises.
“We have a competitive edge in claims settlement through investment in state of the art communication and information technology thereby enhancing our operational efficiency and offer to pay off legitimate claims in a jiffy after the execution of discharge voucher. We have a tractable but reduced claims process circle,” the CEO said.
Confirming the issue, the Chairman, Manny Insurance Brokers Limited, Kayode Okunoren, said Universal Insurance has a rich heritage of professional practice in Nigeria, stressing that this heritage is being sustained.
“It is the belief of Management that the desire of Universal to forge collaborative relationship with brokers through the Nigerian Council has f Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) platform will be achieved,” he stated.
He said the insurer has etched its name amongst brokers’– friendly companies operating in the country today.
Apart from Okunoren, many brokers equally endorsed the company whilst attesting to how their claims were promptly settled by Universal Insurance Plc, even as they implored other brokers to place their clients’ risks with the company, stressing that, there is no hassle in getting claims paid by the Insurance company.
In a related development, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) a body also known as Nollywood industry, chose Universal Insurance to provide it with Group Personal Accident Insurance policy.
The group has about 150, 000 members spread across the country.
According to the actors, the development was a dream come true for them as they were always exposed to varying degree of occupational hazards without any form of compensation, adding that, the unveiling of the insurance cover for them symbolised unity of purpose and provided sense of belonging.
Speaking on the scheme, Don Pedro Obaseki, Former Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the AGN expressed his delight for the scheme, saying for the first time in the history of AGN, the Actors now have insurance protection, noting that it is a wonderful experience and something the group have been looking forward to.
“It’s commendable and forward-looking and this is going to further leapfrog the industry and Actors Guild into another level in the sense that if you have the history of our members, you find out that Nollywood members always have health-related issues. So this will go a long way to trying to checkmate that and also create other health awareness amongst our members”, Obaseki, Founder/CEO, ACC Broadcast Multimedia Ltd said.
Some of the claimants that have enjoyed the firm’s prompt claims response are: NTA-Star TV Network Limited which got N135.6 million and TVC Atlantic Vacation group, which received N105 million as claims between 2016 and 2020 under the Corporate clients, Akinwekomi Collins Dele received N5.8 million claims even as Pastor Robert Udeagha got settled to the tune of N2.6 million under the Individual Client.
Meanwhile, Universal Insurance Plc has paid N1.2 billion as claims to its affected policyholders in the last five years.
The breakdown of the claims paid shows that the company paid N147.8 billion claims to its policyholders who suffered insured risks in its 2015 financial year, paid N111.1 million in 2016, N330.3 million in 2017, N334.2 million in 2018, while it settled N338.2 million claims in 2019 financial year end, bringing the total claims to N1.2 billion on nine classes of insurance.
Within the period of five years, the company paid N182.3 million claims on Bond, as it paid N11.4 million in 2016, N13.3 million in 2017, N5.9 million in 2018 and N151.7 million in 2019.
Similarly, it settled Engineering claims worth N178.1 million; fire claims to the tune of N412.1 million; general accident claims gulping N299.8 million, while aviation claims amounted to N10 million even as Marine insurance claims was N43.9 million.
Marine Hull insurance attracted N5.6 million claims with motor insurance attracting N156.8 million claims.
The Universal Insurance boss stressed that the firm is liquid to underwrite big insurance businesses in insurance sector of the financial industry, saying, the company is eyeing the retail market and will soon unveil some retail insurance products to deepen insurance penetration.
He added that the company has also imbibed the culture of training and retraining of its workforce as it believes in the human capital development, motivation and empowerment to drive policies and create values.
Universal Insurance, according to him, has equally deployed its personnel effectively to ensure that good hands are always on deck to drive the company’s growth policy to the optimum, a policy that has repositioned the firm on an enviable pedestal among its competitors in the marketplace, adding that, his insurer is now in a vantage position to provide valuable advisory services on clients’ portfolios.
“Universal Insurance serves commercial, institutional and individual customers through an extensive general insurance network, also providing financial services and risk management services nation-wide. The company’s leadership is as a result of its underwriting skills, innovative insurance solutions, financial strength, superior service and prompt claims settlement,” he noted.
Onanuga Advocates Functioning Social Security System In Nigeria
By Sola Alabadan
In view of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, the former Director General of Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) said there is the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.
Mrs. Onanuga made this call while delivering the theme paper “Covid-19 Impact On Financial Inclusion: Opportunities For Insurance & Pension Sectors” at the sixth edition of the national conference of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondent (NAIPCO) held recently in Lagos.
She said “The World Bank estimates that the covid-19 crisis will result in 10.9 million Nigerians falling into poverty by January 2022. If we have learned anything, the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have highlighted the critical need for a functioning social security system to allow all Nigerians to achieve an adequate standard of living.
However, she lamented that “unfortunately, the social security system in Nigeria is next to zero; so you need to plan for yourself so that if anything happens, you need to be able to stand.”
Mrs. Onanuga stressed that in this era of COVID-19 pandemic, insurance and pension is what Nigerians need to lean on for a hopeful future.
“If you really want to remain in business, you must take insurance, in the event of sudden occurrence like the pandemic, insurance will help you to stand back on your feet; in the event of you finding that because of the pandemic a breadwinner of a family dies, there must be a buffer to ensure that the family is not affected.
“Therefore, more than ever before, you find out that actually there is need for both insurance and pension products to ensure that we continue to live and meet our need of sustainable living, healthy living, wealthy living and of course, continuity in business. That is why it is important for all of us to identify that we have these needs for growth and continuity by taking up both insurance and pension products,” Mrs. Onanuga said.
In her goodwill message, Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Peter Aghahowa, emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace contributory pension, as a social security safety net.
He said the issue of gathering retirees physically in various locations across the country for verification is now a thing of the past with the online verification and enrolment portal recently launched by the Commission.
According to him, “Before now, we would congregate several retirees in different centres of the country to do the enrolment for the Treasury Funded retirees, and now that can be done online.
“I’m happy to announce that over 3,000 people have been enrolled through our online portal out of 11,000 expected to retire this year.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Olorundare Thomas, called on Nigerians in all walks of life to embrace insurance as risk-mitigating mechanism.
The Commissioner for Insurance was represented by Assistant Director, Market Development, Adeyemi Abubakar.
He congratulated the NAIPCO members, for their consistency in organising the conference, as a platform to ensure that they reach out to the public with their reportage on the insurance sector to ensure the growth of the insurance business in Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Insurance reminded NAIPCO of their role as purveyors of information, awareness creation and catalysts of economic growth, just as he solicited the continued cooperation of the Association for the growth of the industry.
He said for the Nigerian insurance market to record significant growth and contributes adequately to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), all hands must be on deck, noting that the media has a critical role to play in this especially in sensitising the public on the benefits of insurance.
Thomas believes that deepening insurance penetration can only be possible through a deliberate and sustained insurance awareness which, he said, will also lead to the realization of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion initiative.
Sovereign Trust Settles N2.5b Claims In Nine Months
Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc paid total claims of. N2,515,004,405.67 between January and September 2021, in line with its avowed commitment to pay all genuine claims promptly.
A rundown of the claim’s composition paid during the nine months period shows Energy/Oil & Gas Insurance having the highest figure of N774 million, Fire and Allied Perils accounted for N505.5 million, while N460 million was paid as claims under Motor Insurance.
Other figures as released by the organisation are: N355 million for General Accident, N215 million for Engineering/Contractors’ All Risk Insurance and N203 million for Marine & Aviation Insurance.
While commenting on the claim’s payment, the Executive Director, Technical, Jude Modilim, said “there is no compromise to claims settlement in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc because that is the barometer for our customers to determine whether we are delivering on our promise or not. We do not intend to fall short of this obligation and we will continually strive to make good our promise at every point in time as long as the claims are genuine and treated accordingly.”
Modilim further stated that the company has put in place a friendly-claim-process which ensures that claims are settled within the shortest period possible. “The processes involved from the moment a claim is reported and the period the customer receives the cheque have been made as seamless as possible” he noted.
In the same vein, the Managing Director of the organisation, Olaotan Soyinka stated that “one of our means of advertisement in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc is prompt claims settlement and it has helped to strengthen the relationship with our customers. We do not allow them to go through distasteful experience in the process of getting their claims settled. Our processes are hinged on professionalism, ethics and promptness”.