Standard Alliance, NIA at loggerheads over non-payment of claims

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Standard Alliance and Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) are at loggerheads following the suspension of the company from the group.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA) had last month expelled Standard Alliance and two others following their alleged inability to pay claims to policy holders.

NIA Chairman, Mr. Ganiyu Musa had, while briefing reporters on developments, stated that it had been doing some house cleaning by beaming its searchlight on member companies who had failed to pay genuine claims to the insured.

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“We believe it is very important to send the message to our members that when you carry the NIA badge, it should count for something. There is no amount of marketing that you can do, if the experience of the insuring public is bad, and then we cannot make progress in the industry. We believe that after cleansing yourself of bad image, we can go back to the public to say, ‘all the good things that insurance stands for’ ”, he added.

However, reacting to the expulsion, IGI Spokesman Steve Ilo said it was not true that the three firms had been expelled.

He said:  ‘’Yes, it is true that the NIA received complaints from their clients against them, but they have since resolved it.’’

“We also had a problem in reconciling our membership subscription that we are meant to pay, which we are about to do,’’ he noted.

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However, in a letter sent to the NIA Director-General, Yetunde Ilori, by its solicitors, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) & Co, Standard Alliance insisted that the required insurance claims have been paid.

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) chief, Sunday Thomas, was copied in the letter.

The company added that the unpaid claims are the ones under contention.

Standard Alliance demanded N10 billion compensation over the damages caused by the purported suspension.

It also asked the NIA to tender an apology through the same medium where the statement announcing the suspension was published.

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The company threatened to sue the association if the suspension was not lifted within seven days.

Sources said the implication of the expulsion is that the association would not advise the government, private entities and individuals against dealing with the companies.

Consequently, the companies will not be able to participate in the Federal Government’s group life insurance policy and other businesses as the NIA would not issue them letters of membership, a requirement for securing big businesses in the sector.