[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any Phillipson, CEO of Media Advocates Limited and a consultant to Stallion Motors, in this interview with Motoring World International (MOWI), takes a critical look at the problem of fake auto insurance certificates in Nigeria, advocating suspension of Third party Auto Insurance policies.
MOWI: Do you insure your vehicle directly with insurance companies or through agents at licensing offices?
Phillipson: How many people insurance companies directly? Since there are insurance brokers, we cannot always go to insurance companies to insure our vehicles.
MOWI : Even at Licensing offices?
Phillipson: Yes. Brokers are everywhere. They even have mobile offices, they can be located anywhere. They just have a desk.
MOWI: When you register for your insurance at a licensing office, you do not feel any form. You don’t see the forms filled on your behalf. You are only asked to go and come back or wait for some time. How about that?
Phillipson: You are right. Sometimes, the certificate they issue to you are even fake, just like you said, it is only used as police-let-me-go. The moment you show it to the police, who does not even know whether it is genuine or not. Some people have gone to print the certificates from somewhere. And you can imagine, if as a victim, you want to make a claim in future and you now contact the insurance company. And when it is found out that you were issued a fake certificate, you may never be able to trace to so-called broker. So a lot of motorists go about with fake insurance certificates, which are not tenable for indemnity.
MOWI: Have you ever had any cause to make an auto insurance claim? What was your experience like?
Phillipson: I have not. But a lot of people, who did always tell a harrowing experience.
Phillipson: The insurance company keeps taking them thorough frustrating bureaucracy and bottlenecks, asking them to bring impossible. Even many, who insure comprehensively do not at the end get compensated for damages that occur to their vehicles.
Phillipson: Well, there are so much bureaucratic bottlenecks and a lot of impossible conditions you are expected to meet. Meanwhile, you were probably not properly informed about these conditions at the point of taking the policy. Their adverts sound so interesting. You are moved to immediately go and take the policy. The moment there is a problem, you would discover it is not as easy to get compensation. It’s the same experience with all the insurance companies. If you vehicle is lying there for six months or one year, you will want to go and do something about it yourself. That is why I said insurance business is fraud in Nigeria.
MOWI: Our investigation actually revealed that lots of Nigerian motorists are holding fake third party insurance policies. What is your take on this?
Phillipson: I would advise that government, if possible, should outrightly suspend all what they call third party. If you can’t insure your vehicle comprehensively, you may as well not use a vehicle. Imagine, a lot of motorists only see the third-party insurance policy as Police-let-me-go. Many don’t even know the essence of taking up a third party insurance policy.
For instance, you would see some of them, who supposedly have third party insurance policy, when they ram into another person’s car, knowingly or unknowingly, the next thing the driver does is to come to the victim and prostrate flat, begging. Sometimes, I ask this question: “Why beg, if the vehicle is truly insured?” The fact that you have a third party insurance policy means if you cause a damage to another person’s vehicle, the insurance takes responsibility of fixing the victim’s vehicle, but yours, you fix by yourself.
But ironically, the insurance companies are just amassing wealth at the expense of people’s ignorance. The kind of money they make from third party policy is too much, because not many people insure their vehicles comprehensively. So if they collect average of N3000 for third party insurance from motorists, for instance, numbering over 5,000,000. But if you ask insurance companies, they will tell you only about 2,000,000 vehicles are insured in Nigeria, a statistic I don’t agree with. There is so much fraud in the insurance industry, because, in the first place, they don’t incur liabilities. So what is the purpose of collecting N3000 to N5000 annually from motorists?
[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title][/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]”…There is so much fraud in the insurance industry, because, in the first place, they don’t incur liabilities. So what is the purpose of collecting N3000 to N5000 annually from motorists?” – Manny Phillipson[/tab][/tabs]