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Lagos floods: Insurers put losses at N30bn

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Lagos floods: Insurers put losses at N30bn

By Nike Popoola


The losses that followed the floods that ravaged most part of Lagos State on Sunday, July 10, 2011, have been estimated at over N30bn.

The floods, caused by a daylong rainfall, did extensive damage to individual, commercial and corporate premises and belongings in most parts of the state, and resulted in the loss of no fewer than 10 lives.

Insurance companies, which provided cover for some of the losses, have estimated that the value of the losses is over N30bn although they admit that less than half of the risks are actually insured due to low level of insurance awareness and patronage.

The Managing Director, Linkage Assurance Plc, Mr. Gus Wiggle, whose company is to pay about N30m to some property owners in the highbrow area of Ikoyi, said many losses were recorded as a result of the floods.

According to him, the value of losses from the recent floods should be in the range of N30bn, but only a few of the risks are insured while many businesses are uninsured.

Another top insurance executive, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said that the value of the losses was about N30bn.

As a result, the Nigerian insurance industry is set to make the highest claims settlement in its history with a single company making claims of over N7bn, though the figure has yet to be confirmed by loss adjusters.

Our correspondent gathered that the highest single claim of over N7bn was made by FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria.

The Group Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, who confirmed the figure in an interview with our correspondent, said the FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria loss was a major one.

It was further gathered that a consortium of 10 insurance firms led by Royal Exchange Plc underwrote the business dairy company’s business and had already paid N1bn as interim settlement to the company.

Investigation revealed that most of the claims that had been filed with the insurance firms by those who suffered losses as a result of the floods were from corporate organisations that understood the essence of insurance and had taken out insurance against disasters.

The floods damaged many warehouses and goods stores, business premises, household properties and vehicles.

Insurance operators said the claims that followed the massive losses were the highest recorded on flooding incidents in the country, though the total losses had yet to be ascertained.

Loss adjusters, whose duty it is to ascertain the exact value of losses are, however, computing the actual value of losses to the floods in order to determine the appropriate claims to be paid to those who suffered the losses.

However, small enterprises that did not place their risks with insurance firms are forlornly looking up to the government for assistance, with many of them already out of business due to the severity of the damage caused by the floods.

The Managing Director, Anchor Insurance Company Limited, Mr. Ademayowa Adeduro, said the company was already preparing to pay claims worth over N100m for losses suffered by its customers as a result of the floods.

He said due to climatic changes, different parts of the world were recording the kind of adverse weather that they never experienced before.

He noted that areas of Lagos, which never experienced floods before now, were now being affected whenever there was excessive rainfall, leading to huge losses, with the insurance companies responding to the claims.

According to him, while people need to be careful by adopting protective measures, there are some issues which individuals may not be able to prevent.

For this reason, he urged members of the public to always insure their goods and properties with the insurance sector by taking appropriate policies.

The Managing Director, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Wale Onaolapo, said that the incessant cases of road accidents across the country; collapse of buildings, especially those under construction; fire outbreaks; and in recent times; ravaging floods in some parts of the country, which had destroyed properties worth millions of naira, were a reminder of the need to take insurance cover. - Nigerian news, business news, doing business in, naija, Nigeria, West Africa

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Updated 7 Years ago

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