Here a list of the 5 most common insurance myths in Nigeria:

1 Insurance companies don't pay claims

Insurance companies are in business for one major reason, which is to pay claims whenever the risk insured against occurs. However, most Nigerians don't take their time to fully understand the terms of insurance contracts, and this explains why most of their claims are deemed invalid by insurance companies.

Truth is, insurers do not pay claims for risks that are not covered by the consumer's policy or risks that have not been properly documented. And they don't pay claims whenever fraud is suspected. So, they don't just reject claims for no reason.

2 Insurance companies always find reasons to not pay a claim

Again, this is not true. However, when a consumer makes a claim, the insurance company scrutinizes everything about the claim - not because it's finding reasons not to pay the consumer, but because the insurer is trying to verify that the claim has met all validity conditions as stated in the contract.

Once the insurance company is able to establish the validity of the claim, it will pay the consumer whatever is due to be paid.

3 Insurance companies take ages to pay claims

After establishing the validity of a claim, the insurance company has no reason whatsoever to delay the payment of the claim beyond the period specified in the insurance contract agreed with the consumer. On average, claims are paid within 5-20 working days after the consumer signs and returns the discharge voucher (a document issued after validation of an insurance claim that states how much the insurance company is willing to pay to settle the consumer's claim).

The delay of claim payment is linked with the claim value, the internal process of the insurance company as well as the time of receipt of the signed discharge voucher returned by the consumer. Last but not least, keep in mind that the delays are stated in your insurance contract so if you were not satisfied with a previous claim payment delay, you might not have look deeply enough into your contract before signing it!

4 Complaining about insurance companies is pointless

Whenever consumers have any complaints about their insurers, they should report to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). The NAICOM is the body responsible for regulating and supervising the insurance industry in Nigeria. This institution can be reached via any of the contact channels made available on its website.

Once made aware of any disagreement between a consumer and his or her insurer, NAICOM looks into the issue and arbitrates if necessary. This claim process is made within the shortest time possible. So in contrary to what many people think, insurance companies are definitely not operating unchecked.

5 Insurance is a rip off

Most Nigerians regard insurance as a rip off because they believe insurance companies are out to only feed fat on people's money. It's true that consumers are required to pay their premiums at stipulated intervals and that they will only get paid for what they are insured against. But that's how the insurance business is done all over the world, not only in Nigeria.

Nigerian insurance companies have been working hard on clearing these misconceptions thereby implementing massive sensitization campaigns across multiple communication channels. Once the consumers will understand and value the actual benefits of insurance, the Nigerian insurance industry will grow sharply and prosper, as it has been the case in many other countries.

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