Spurious claims on the rise as economy bites – Insurers

Insurance companies have said some of the people insured, hit by economic hardship, occasioned by rising inflation and falling incomes, are resorting to making spurious claims.

The insurers said they have seen in recent times false claims from customers wanting to take advantage of their loss situation to better their condition.

According to the insurers, this is common in motor insurance policies where at the slightest form of accident, customers want to take advantage of it to fix and maintain their vehicles, which they could not do before the incident.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 19.64 percent in July, the highest since September 2005, from 18.60 percent in June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The Managing Director of Old Mutual Nigeria, Olalekan Oyinlade, who confirmed the rising incidents of fraudulent claims in the industry, said ‘Yes, it is true that some people are taking advantage of their loss to make extra money.

“There are accidents, but people are taking advantage of it to maintain their cars, which they could not maintain in a while.”

“An insured car was bashed from behind and the bumper damaged; now, a new bumper has been bought to replace it, but the owner of the car is asking that the whole body of the car be repainted. That means we are going to pay a panel beater to work on the whole body before painting,” a junior insurer said.

Managing Director of Lifeguard Microinsurance, Adeyinka Oyekunle, the newest player in the Nigerian microinsurance space, said, “We quite understand the challenges dealing with small income earners and how often they could ask for claims, but we have professionals who look at these situations critically and take prompt decisions on claims.”

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