Nigeria: Operators Urge FG to Make Insurance Compulsory for All Buildings in Nigeria

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Ebere Nwoji

Insurance sector operators have called on all levels of government to make insurance compulsory for all buildings in the country.

The President Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB). Rotimi Edu who made the call during a press briefing in preparation for the 60th anniversary of the brokers’ council said this has become necessary because of incessant building collapses in the country.

Edu, said though the law on compulsory insurance for buildings made insurance compulsory for only building that is above two floors but that any building can collapse including bungalows.

Section 65, sub-section 3 of the Insurance Act 2003, requires the owner or occupier of every public building to be insured against liability for loss or damage to property or death or bodily injury caused by collapse, fire, earthquake, storm or flood.

The 2003 insurance Act, defines a public building as one to which members of the public have access to for educational, recreational, medical and commercial purposes. The penalty for non-compliance is a maximum fine of N100, 000 or one-year imprisonment or both according to insurance Act 2003.

Section 64 of insurance Act 2003, stipulates that for insurance of buildings under construction, every owner or contractor of any building under construction with more than two floors must take an insurance policy to cover liability against construction risks caused by his negligence or that of his servants, agents or consultants which may result in death, bodily injury or property damage to workers on site or members of the public.

But the NCRIB wants government to extend the compulsion of the building insurance to not only buildings above two floors as stated by the act but all buildings.

He said progress has been made on compliance with the compulsory builders insurance adding that owners of building under construction have been willingly buying insurance cover.

He however said some building owners who have affiliation with parent bodies abroad often claim they insured them abroad through their captive firms.

He said insurers were still making progress in their effort to ensure insurance penetration in different parts of the country.

On their partnership with various state governments in this regard, Edu said some states were not ready for the partnership.

“Some states in the past had their insurance which failed because of Nigerian factor of lack of continuity problem, states should have insurance department. Lagos State has because they have captives but what about other states? There is a committee working on it but brokers have started penetrating states, “he explained.

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