For players in the insurance sectors of the nation’s economy, fortune is not smiling with them at all, as huge claims from the recent flood across the country, started trickling in.
The claims, expected to be in billions, will no doubt, stretched the 2022 balance sheet of underwriting firms who have flood as an extension of Fire and Home insurance policies or have it as a separate product.
Although, insurance subscription is abysmally low, there are still pockets of those affected by the flood, who insured their properties and lives. Those who ventured into Agric insurance are expected to feel the brunt the more with more farmland submerged by flood.
Olam Farm claims alone, investigation revealed, is in the excess of $15 million with most of its rice plantations submerged by the recent flood across Lokoja and some parts of the north.
The federal government had earlier disclosed that over 602 persons have died, 45,249 houses totally destroyed and 70,566 hectares of farmlands damaged by the flood.
With this level of disaster, insurance companies are in for large claims settlement to policyholders.
Insurance industry, in year 2020, paid N1.64 billion claims to practitioners of commercial and subsidised agriculture that suffered losses.
Data obtained from the Nigerian insurers Association (NIA) revealed that operators of commercial agriculture got N836.24 million claims while those in the subsidised business got N857.08 million, amounting to an aggregate of N1.64 billion.
On premium generated, insurers pooled gross premium written of N7.46 billion from agric business, with Abuja contributing the highest which was N4.52 billion, followed by Lagos, N540.00 million and Zamfara, N348.91 million.
Similarly in 2021, the industry generated about N10 billion premium from agricultural sector.
Insurance Stakeholders’ Responses
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has canvassed stakeholders’ engagement to tackle the perennial flood malaise.
Edu, while speaking at the NCRIB 60th Anniversary Grand Ball & Night Of Honours event in Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday, said the flooding was indeed an auspicious occasion to bemoan the losses to human and material losses being recorded in the country as a result of the perennial flooding affecting many parts of the country.
He added that, its high time government begin to take advantage of insurance in the mitigation of such risks to cushion the losses by the people as obtainable in other climes.
Whilst calling on governments to embrace insurance for its citizens as a way of mitigating their material losses when they occur, the president admonished the citizens to individually insure against fire and other perils that covers flooding as government may not be able to adequately compensate them when a loss occurs to their lives and property.
He appealed to governments to encourage their Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to have adequate insurance in place as a way of providing against risks and by so doing, free government of compensatory expenditure usually paid to citizens who lose their lives and property due to natural disasters like flooding.
Moreover, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has sympathised with victims of recent flood disaster across the country, assuring all those insured against such misfortunes of its commitment towards ensuring prompt settlement of their claims by insurance companies.
The head of corporate communications and market development, NAICOM, Rasaaq Salami, who disclosed this, urged the public to notify the regulatory body if they encounter any difficulty in getting their genuine claims from their insurers.
In the same vein, the managing director, Universal Insurance Plc, Dr. Ben Ujoatuonu, said, his company is keenly monitoring the situation, adding that, the firm is yet to receive any claims report from its insured.
He noted that definitely claims would arise from the disaster and his firm is ready to settle all genuine claims arising from the flood.
Assistant general manager, Corporate Services, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Magdalene Omosimua, had earlier said assessment is currently ongoing, adding that, claims would be reported anytime soon, noting that, the firm would continue to keep to its responsibilities toward it policyholders.
To this end, NAIC sympathised with flood victims across the country, assuring that the corporation will always stand by them.
The corporation said, it shares the pains and agony of victims and stand with them at this trying period.
It added that “therefore, as a caring and responsive organisation, we are using this medium to assure our insured clients that their genuine claims will be given utmost urgent attention to enable them go back to living their normal productive lives.
“In the same vein, NAIC wishes to advise that properties and business endeavours of our teeming citizens be promptly insured to guarantee sustainability of existing jobs, income stabilisation, food security, poverty alleviation and wealth creation.”