Continued negligence of the compulsory third party motor insurance policy among road users in Lagos and other parts of the country despite efforts to curb this by insurers through the Nigeria Insurance Industry Data Base (NIID), is starting to have a multiplier effect on Nigerians and huge revenue loss to insurers, THISDAY investigation has revealed.
While both insurance operators and law enforcement agents continuing their fight against fake motor insurance certificate sellers and its associated problem of road accident without compensation to the third party, the greatest problem currently confronting the duo are increasing number of uninsured motor cycles popularly called Okada and incessant road accident caused by the operators.
Analysts told THISDAY that the Nigerian insurance industry loses about N530 billion ($1.28 billion) yearly as a result of failure by vehicle owners to purchase the compulsory Third Party motor insurance.
THISDAY findings revealed that out of about 11.8 million registered vehicles plying the roads, only 1.2 million of them have valid insurance certificates.
This, situation analysts said, has deprived insurers the premium and has exposed many road users to the menace of hit-and-run vehicle users.
Meanwhile, investigation by THISDAY showed that in various axis in Lagos, especially routes that are prone to heavy traffic jam, incidence of deaths and permanent disabilities caused by the okada riders abound on daily basis.
A case in point was a recent accident over the weekend involving an Okada rider plying Iyana Iba road in Ojo Area of Lagos towards Mile 2 along Lagos Badagry Express Road and one Mrs Eucharia Okafor, a pedestrian walking along Iyana Iba-Volkswagen road shortly before Ojo military barracks.
Okafor, it was learnt, was walking by the roadside towards Volkswagen bus stop and was suddenly knocked down by an Okada rider who left the express road to ply through a small pathway left for the pedestrians.
Okafor fell down instantly shouting for help in the pull of her own blood while the Okada rider did not stop for one minute to look at the seriousness of the injury his bike has inflicted on the woman.
This raises the question as to what both the insurers and the law enforcement agents are doing about the number of motorcycles plying Nigerian roads especially Lagos without the compulsory Insurance cover.
Indeed, some motorcycles on Lagos road ply without even plate number.
Insurance operators who lamented the ugly trend, stated that the fruitless effort to get the Okada riders insured is a huge loss to the insurance industry and dangerous to other road users.
The Director General, Nigeria Insurers Association, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, told THISDAY that through the NIID, insurers would one day ensure that every vehicle user on Nigeria road is caught in the compulsory insurance net.
She said insurers are not sleeping over the matter adding that compulsory motor insurance is not the only policy jumped by Nigerians but also marine insurance.
She was however optimistic that the insurers will definitely win the battle one day while she advised Nigerians to willingly comply with the law.
Okafor’s case is just but one out of numerous similar cases in Lagos.
Fatal cases than the Okafor incident abound spelling the need for more serious fight especially by law enforcement agents against use of fake insurance certificates and violation of the compulsory third party motor insurance law.
The Third Party Motor Insurance policy is one of the compulsory insurance policies in Nigeria.
It is the legal minimum level of motor insurance cover any motor vehicle owner plying the Nigerian road is required to have.
Beyond the fact that Third Party Motor Insurance is compulsory by law, the benefits of the policy make it a must-have for every Nigerian motorist.
The policy takes care of the damage caused by the insured to the third party’s property or vehicle, also the Third Party’s medical expenses (if any) in the event of an accident, when the policyholder is at fault.