The Sum Assured on free life insurance covers offered by insurance companies both individually and collectively towards the fight against coronavirus outbreak in the country have risen to N17 billion.
As at the weekend, the virus has infected over 1,000 people while investigation shows that about 70 health workers were equally infected during the process of attending to Covid-19 patients.
While various individuals and companies have donated cash and equipment towards curbing the outbreak, insurance sector is offering free life insurance cover for health workers because of the risks they are exposed to in the discharge of their duties during this period.
To this end, the industry, as it stands, has offered free life cover to health workers of which the cumulative Sum Assured now amounts to N17 billion. No fewer than 5,000 health workers partaking in the ongoing exercise to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country will get free life insurance coverage to the tune of N11 billion.
The coverage, which was provided for free by the insurance Industry, under the auspices of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), to health workers, has a year lifespan, commencing from 14th of April, 2020.
Speaking in his presentation to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 in Abuja at the weekend, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said: “The Nigerian Insurance Industry is offering to the federal government of Nigeria its assistance in providing Life Insurance Cover to the frontline workers on COVID 19. The Life Insurance Cover is for a maximum of 5,000 health workers who are employed in the fight against COVID 19.”
Highlighting the benefits of the cover, he noted that, the sum Assured payable to the families or named beneficiary of any of the workers that dies in the line of duty includes: Medical Doctors N3 million, Pharmacists/Nurses N2 million, while others takes N1 million each as Sum Assured.
Stating that the estimated liability of the insuring companies is N11 billion, he added that, the premium in the sum of N112.5 million for the cover has been fully paid by the Nigerian Insurance Industry in line with the principle of No Premium No Cover.
“A total of 19 Life Insurance companies have been accredited to provide the Cover. In event of any fatality, the relevant agencies of government will immediately advise the lead Underwriter – FBN Insurance Ltd, who will make request for relevant documents needed for payment of the claim,” he pointed out.
On her part, the director-general of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) Mrs. Yetunde Ilori said: “This is part of the insurance industry support to the Federal Government as the search for a solution continues. There are other initiatives at the state level and the main idea is that the industry must join other stakeholders in this battle.”
While thanking the federal government for its faith in the Nigerian insurance market as exemplified by its wholehearted acceptance of the policy, she restated the support for other initiatives that will boost the morale of those in the frontline in the fight against this dreaded virus.
Earlier at a press briefing to unveil the initiative in Lagos, before the free life insurance product was later repackaged, the chairman, NIA, Mr. Tope Smart, said: “In line with our profession as risk managers, NIA has decided to arrange a special life Insurance cover for all health personnel and allied professionals who are attending to victims of COVID-19.”
Smart, who is also the managing director/CEO, NEM Insurance Plc, added that, arrangements are on to procure testing kits and protective materials worth about N100 million, for the use of medical personnel saddled with this responsibility.
The materials, he said, would be delivered to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Similarly, a coalition of six insurance companies in Nigeria announced an insurance cover of N5 billion Sum Assured for health workers and volunteers in the fight against coronavirus outbreak in Lagos State.
The policy, according to a statement signed by the chief executive officers of the concerned insurance firms, covers; medical, disability, incapacity and term life insurance for up to 1000 doctors, nurses, and other health workers in the state.
The companies and their MDs are; Tunde Hassan-Odukale (Leadway Assurance Company Limited), Wole Oshin (Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc), Segun Balogun (Lasaco Assurance Plc), Babatunde Fajemirokun (AIICO Insurance Plc), Livingstone Magorimbo (Tangerine Life Insurance Limited), and Kayode Awogboro (Ark Insurance Brokers Limited).