In a bid to Solve the seeming intractable dilemma of Vehicle Owners faced with fake motor insurance policies, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has introduced the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *565*11# to aid in eliminating fake insurance certificates in the market.
Speaking at the launch recently held in Lagos, Chairman of the NIA, Tope Smart stated that the device was designed to bring insurance closer to the people and enable motorists verify the authenticity of their insurance policies at the comfort of their houses.
The Chairman recalled that in 2010 the association took a major step towards eliminating fake insurance certificates in the market through the inception of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID), stressing that the database went live in 2011 and insurance policies obtained by motorists could be checked real time online on the internet and through dedicated hand held devices.
He said the objective of the NIID is to serve as an authentic database of the Nigerian insurance industry data providing qualitative statistics/analysis of the industry data! as well as a vehicle for easy verification of genuine insurance certificates by all stakeholders and to reduce incidences of fraudulent insurance transactions especially for motor and marine policies.
Smart posited that the industry has continued to reap the benefits of the scheme, adding that prior to the establishment of the platform, cloning and faking of insurance certificates was a thriving business, but the establishment of the database has assisted the industry in reducing the incidents of fake insurance certificates in the market and that presently, there are over three million vehicle details on the platform.
He noted that the platform has been enhanced to include stolen vehicles and claims reporting modules in response to the challenges thrown up by actions of suspected fraudsters that made multiple claims with the intent to defraud the industry over the last few years.
However, Smart said that the NIID platform had been operational nationwide, but with challenges in verification in areas with poor internet coverage, verification of motor certificates through the dedicated devices became highly impaired due to the vicissitudes of internet operations in the hinterlands. This he stated, led to the introduction of the USSD technology.
The Chairman in his optimism said “It is hoped that with the USSD, we would have fully overcome the problems associated with the dedicated devices as it guarantees uninterrupted service throughout the country and on all networks.
He appreciated partners such as Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and Courteville Business Solutions Plc. for their support
“The success recorded so far cannot be complete without acknowledging the co-operation and support received from the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) of various States, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other stakeholders in the insurance industry,” he said.
Also Speaking, The Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, who was represented at the event by a member of staff of the commission, said the device would really impact the industry positively as it will help weed out fake policies.