There are indications from the nation’s insurance industry operators that only about 2.53 million out of the 12 million registered vehicles on Nigerian roads, have genuine motor insurance certificates, leaving about 9.5 million effectively uninsured.
The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) told The Guardian that presently, out of the 12 million registered vehicles on roads in the country, five million are in Lagos State alone.Findings by The Guardian however, revealed that some of these 9.5 million vehicles that are not insured, display fake motor insurance papers, while some do not have any form of insurance policy at all.
Also, many others, who had genuine insurance papers, have relapsed into illegality by failing to renew when their previous Motor insurance cover expired.
The Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) Act demands that any automobile on Nigerian roads must have at least third party motor insurance policy or comprehensive insurance policy, which goes for 10 per cent of the value of a vehicle.
Third Party Vehicle Insurance comes at a fixed price of N5, 000 for privately used saloons and SUVs, while commercially used vehicles are charged N7, 500.The insurance industry is losing billions of Naira on motor insurance to fake policy hawkers, who sell only papers to motorists.
Investigations also revealed that most drivers go for fake insurance because it is cheap, as well as to avoid the anger of the law enforcement agents, as they have little or no knowledge of the benefits of buying original insurance cover.Other uninsured motorists, it was learnt, prefer to bribe their way out with law enforcement agents in the case they are accosted on the roads.
But insurance operators, led by NIA, said they are set to tackle the menace of fake motor insurance papers on Nigerian roads by launching a campaign tagged: “Wetin U Carry”, where vehicle owners can confirm the authenticity of their insurance papers by dialing *565*11# on their phones.
Speaking to journalists at a media briefing to unveil the initiative in Lagos, the Director-General, NIA, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said the 2.53 million vehicles registered on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) are those with genuine insurance papers, noting that, most motorists are either uninsured or parading fake insurance certificates.
She warned motorists with fake vehicle certificates not to expect claims when accident happens, unlike those with genuine insurance certificates, urging vehicle owners to confirm the genuineness of their insurance coverage through the aforementioned code.
According to her, this was the reason why some Nigerians are complaining that insurance companies are not paying claims; she said this happened because they do not have genuine insurance coverage as you can see in some licensing offices where you buy third-party motor insurance at the rate of N2, 000.