By Habibat Aliu
To safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians in the marketplace, insurance experts have advised the next administration to include a market insurance plan on the list of compulsory insurance.
The existing six compulsory insurance covers include third-party motor insurance, employer’s liability/ workmen’s compensation insurance, group life assurance, health care professional indemnity insurance, and occupiers’ liability insurance or insurance of public buildings.
Among these compulsory insurance covers, the only policy that has enjoyed a reasonable level of implementation is motor insurance, which through the Nigerian Insurers Association’s Industry Database (NIID) is making waves in many states, especially Lagos.
Stakeholders who spoke this medium at the weekend, in separate interviews, condemned the recent fire incident in the Maiduguri market that destroyed over 13,000 shops amid a dire economic situation. They called for the urgent inclusion of marketplace insurance to mitigate such risks.
The President, of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Rotimi Edu, kicked against any compensation that would not restore lost businesses. Instead, he said, shop owners should be encouraged to adopt insurance to mitigate fire incidents and other forms of losses.
Edu noted that the essence of insurance was to mitigate losses and restore policyholders to the position they were in before the incident that led to the losses.
He said lockup shops and prominent marketplaces across the country should be brought under compulsory insurance, adding that this is overdue for implementation. This, he said, would add value to businesses and economic growth.
Edu opined that the unfortunate fire incident has again brought to the fore the need for insurance by all, especially business owners to shield them from total losses of property in the event of a disastrous incident.
The Council chief also called on the government, at all levels, to imbibe insurance culture and encourage the same as a risk-mitigating approach, rather than waiting to give palliatives when they occurred.
Edu said: “The message should bode well with a government that is proactive by encouraging insurance amongst the populace. This is the way to go, as against providing palliatives, which are often insufficient after losses have been recorded.”
The Council’s President informed the public about the pivotal place of insurance brokers as professional intermediaries who give value to claims payment at the point of insurance placement.