A B C OF INSURANCE

Introduction

Every person desires a comfortable existence with a secure future. Our decisions and actions in relation to managing our resources can determine how well we live and how we manage unexpected situations in our lives as well as protect our future.

The more we know about the different financial instruments and how we can best use them to meet our needs, the better our chances of improved livelihood.

This basic information is provided on insurance to help you make informed choices about this financial service.

What is insurance?

Insurance is a risk transfer mechanism; it is taken to protect oneself against a possible unwanted outcome in life and in business. Insurance enables those who suffer a loss or accident to be compensated for the effects of their misfortune. It is a way of managing risks and keeping things on the move. When we hear about fires burning down big markets, we worry so much because the owners of the stalls and wares lose everything. However, that may not be the case for those who insure their stalls and wares. Their insurance companies pay for all or some of what they have lost.

Insurance involves paying someone (usually an insurance company) an agreed sum of money regularly. The insurance company takes on the risks associated with specified unforeseen events or accidents that befall an individual and compensates the insured person or some named beneficiaries for the incurred loss/damage.

 

 

Different Types of Insurance

Broadly there are two kinds of insurance:

Life Insurance which pays an insurance benefit when the person who is insured dies;

General insurance, which comes in many forms, including property, liability, disability, health and travel.

Why Should You Insure?

Protecting your life and property should be an important part of your financial plan. Insurance protects you from financial problems resulting from damage or loss either to yourself or to your property. It is therefore important that you insure your life and property against any unanticipated accidents, damages or loss.

You can take insurance to cover any of the following listed below: 

Death

Accident

Theft

Fire Loss

Damage

Disability and

Health.

How and Where Can You Insure?   

There are many insurance companies that offer Life insurance and many others that offer General Insurance. 

It is better to go through your Insurance Broker in dealing with the insurer especially in countries like Nigeria. Once you contact us, our staff will advise you on what insurers offer and what is best suited to your insurance need.

 Insurance – Some Basic Steps   

Contact an insurance broker. Discuss your insurance needs with them. Think  about the options carefully and then choose the product(s) that meet(s) your needs 

Supply truthful information for the completion of the insurance contract documents Sign the insurance contract and Pay your premium You will receive an insurance cover, called Policy Document, for the risk(s) you have  insured.  

Insurance Policy   This is a document of agreement between an individual or organization and an insurance company. Once you decide which kind of insurance policy you wish to take, your broker will ensure that you meet the requirement of the company for such insurance, you will be given an insurance policy.

Whatever policy you are considering, your broker will carefully analyse every aspect of the policy and tell you the implications of every detail before you sign the insurance contract.   

Insurance Premiums   

As part of the agreement captured in the insurance policy you will commit to pay an agreed sum of money to the insurance company regularly through your broker.  This is called the premium.  The company in turn commits to take on costs associated with risks in relation to specified unforeseen events and accidents that befall you.  Usually insurance premiums are paid annually but for short term policies, the premium may be paid once.  The premium is usually paid before the policy starts running.However, the insurer will allow the policy to start running before payments of the premium by granting the broker a short period of time to pay the premium.   

Compensation

This is what you are paid in the case of an accident or loss for which you have insured.  Once you have entered into an insurance contract and paid your premium, you are entitled to compensation from the insurance company for any damage or loss suffered. The extent of compensation depends on the type of insurance. Your broker will help you process and collect your claims payments.

Making an Insurance Claim

Under all insurance contracts, damages or losses incurred must be reported to the insurance company through your broker for the purpose of making a claim.  In some cases a report must also be made to the police.Under a motor insurance for example, you must report any accident to the police as soon as it occurs to enable you to begin the processes for making insurance claims.    Failure to report an accident can subject you to personal liability if the persons involved later find themselves to be injured and your insurance company denies the claims due to your failure to report the accident promptly.

Tips  

Always use a broker, Floodgate is always available for this service. Read your policy well.  Ask questions.  Keep your policy at hand.  Call your broker to keep your policy up to date.  Inform your Broker of any changes in the information you have supplied.   

Choosing a company to insure with can be difficult, so it is best to depend on your broker. Talking to several insurance companies, brokers or agents may get you more confused.   

Who can Insure   

Any person can insure his or her life and the lives of persons whose death may cause him or her financial loss.  A person who owns a property or has an interest in a property can insure the property. Again, any person who will be liable to another person for any damage caused can insure in respect of the liability.   

Protection of Insurance Policy Holders   

The government has set up the NAICOM to supervise, regulate, monitor and control the operations of insurance companies, brokers and agents to ensure that policy holders are protected from being defrauded.   If you have any problem with an insurance company, broker or agent, you can make a complaint to the NAICOM or call us at FLOODGATE and we will be glad to assist you.

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