NKECHI NAECHE ESEZOBOR-Policyholders were in jubilant mood, as they attested to the claims paying ability of Nigeria’s top insurer, Universal Insurance Plc.
They were rejoicing having had a great claim experience, as the company was able to settle their claims as and when due.
This commitment has, however, won the company many admirers who are now showing interest in placing their insurance businesses with the company.
Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) a body also known as Nollywood industry, chose Universal Insurance to provide it with Group Personal Accident Insurance policy.
The group has about 150, 000 members spread across the country in its register and as such seems the largest professional interest group in Africa.
According to some of them, the development was a dream come true for actors who are always exposed to varying degree of occupational hazards without any form of compensation, adding that, the unveiling of the insurance cover for them symbolised unity of purpose and provided sense of belonging and direction from the current team of excos to the members of once-troubled organisation.
Speaking on the scheme, Don Pedro Obaseki, Former Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the AGN expressed his delight for the scheme, saying, for the first time in the history of AGN, the Actors now have insurance protection, noting that it is a wonderful experience and something the group have been looking forward to.
“It’s commendable and forward-looking and this is going to further leapfrog the industry and Actors Guild into another level in the sense that if you have the history of our members, you find out that Nollywood members always have health-related issues. So this will go a long way to trying to checkmate that and also create other health awareness amongst our members”, Obaseki, Founder/CEO, ACC Broadcast Multimedia Ltd said.
Similarly, owing to the company’s pedigree on claims settlement, the Chairman, Manny Insurance Brokers Limited, Kayode Okunoren, said universal insurance has a rich heritage of professional practice in Nigeria, believing that, this heritage is being sustained.
“It is the belief of Management that the desire of Universal to forge collaborative relationship with brokers through the Nigerian Council has f Registered Insurance Brokers(NCRIB) platform will be achieved,” he stressed.
He stated that the insurer has etched its name amongst the most brokers’– friendly companies operating today in the Nigerian market.
Aside Okunoren, many brokers equally endorsed the company whilst attesting to how their claims were promptly settled by Universal Insurance Plc, even as they implored other brokers to place their clients’ risks with the company, stressing that, there is no hassle in getting claims paid by Universal Insurance Plc.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the challenges facing insurance industry in Nigeria occasioned by harsh operating environment, Universal Insurance has stood out as an underwriting firm to reckon with, especially, in the area of Prompt claims settlement.
Its sterling performances coupled with innovative product design and development recently earned the company the ‘Best Innovative Insurance Company of the Year 2019’ at the Champion Newspapers’ award held in Lagos.
Presenting the award to the company, Mr Feyi Smith, a former Managing Director, Champion Newspapers Limited, who expressed delight over the choice of the insurance firm for the award category, said that he has been following up with the progress the company has made in recent times positing that the award was a honour well deserved.
Receiving the award on behalf of the company, Ogbuefi Paulinus Offorzor, the Executive Director (Technical), Universal Insurance Plc, said: “I must say that this award has presented to the entire Universal Insurance family, a greater challenge to continue to put smile on the faces of our esteemed customers and I can assure you that Universal Insurance will become a mega company in the post recapitalisation insurance industry.”
Some claimants that have enjoyed the the firm’s prompt claims response, are; NTA-Star TV Network Limited which got N135.6 million and TVC Atlantic Vacation group, which received N105 million as claims between 2016 and 2020 under the Corporate clients, Akinwekomi Collins Dele received N5.8 million claims even as Pastor Robert Udeagha got settled to the tune of N2.6 million under the Individual Client.
In the last five years Universal Insurance Plc has paid a total of N1.2 billion as claims to its policyholders.
The breakdown of the claims paid shows that the company paid N147.8 billion claims to its policyholders who suffered insured risks in its 2015 financial year, paid N111.1 million in 2016, N330.3 million in 2017, N334.2 million in 2018, while it settled N338.2 million claims in 2019 financial year end, bringing the total claims to N1.2 billion on nine classes of insurance.
Within the period of five years, the company paid N182.3 million claims on Bond, as it paid N11.4 million in 2016, N13.3 million in 2017, N5.9 million in 2018 and N151.7 million in 2019.
Similarly, it settled Engineering claims worth N178.1 million; fire claims to the tune of N412.1 million; general accident claims gulping N299.8 million, while aviation claims amounted to N10 million even as Marine insurance claims was N43.9 million.
Marine Hull insurance attracted N5.6 million claims with motor insurance attracting N156.8 million claims.
Speaking on this development, the managing director, Universal Insurance PLC, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, noted that the company is presently meeting all its obligations especially, in the area of prompt claims settlement to clients and other stakeholders, adding that the insurer is liquid enough to carry out its civic responsibilities.
“We have a competitive edge in claims settlement through investment in state of the art communication and information technology thereby enhancing our operational efficiency and offer to pay off legitimate claims in a jiffy after the execution of discharge voucher. We have a tractable but reduced claims process circle,” the CEO said.
He noted that the firm is liquid to underwrite big insurance businesses in insurance sector of the financial industry, saying, the company is eyeing the retail market and will soon unveil some retail insurance products to deepen insurance penetration.
Moreover, he said, the company has also imbibed the culture of training and retraining of its workforce as it believes in the human capital development, motivation and empowerment to drive policies and create values.
Universal Insurance, according to him, has equally deployed its personnel effectively to ensure that good hands are always on deck to drive the company’s growth policy to the optimum, a policy that has repositioned the firm on an enviable pedestal among its competitors in the marketplace, adding that, his insurer is now in a vantage position to provide valuable advisory services on clients’ portfolios.
“Universal Insurance serves commercial, institutional and individual customers through an extensive general insurance network, also providing financial services and risk management services nation-wide. The company’s leadership is as a result of its underwriting skills, innovative insurance solutions, financial strength, superior service and prompt claims settlement,” he pointed out.