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Police pull out of FG insurance scheme

By on June 13, 2013

The Nigeria Police Force has pulled out of the group life insurance scheme initiated by the Federal Government for all its workers. It is, instead, seeking approval to have a separate policy solely for its officers and men.

Current security challenges in the country, which have made the police to continue to record heavy casualties, and forced the authorities to consider taking special insurance covers for the officers and men outside of the one being provided by the Head of Service of the Federation for federal workers, investigations have revealed.

Sources disclosed to our correspondent that the police authorities had successfully lobbied the Federal Government to create a special insurance scheme for the officers and men because of the need to get adequate compensation since the force had been making the highest claims from insurance companies as a result of the death of its personnel.

The NPF has, therefore, opted out of the group life insurance scheme for federal workers, which has been fraught with delays in premium payments.

Presently, members of the rank and file of the police force have no legally binding insurance cover because of the failure of the Federal Government to pay the outstanding 59 per cent of the premium on last year’s policy.

Similarly, the government has not paid any premium on the insurance scheme for federal workers this year, a situation that has forced the insurance companies not to provide cover for them because of the ‘No premium, no cover’ policy introduced by the National Insurance Commission.

If the arrears are not paid, the implication is that the relatives of deceased Federal Government workers will not be compensated.

Dissatisfied with the arrangement, the police authorities are now desirous of having their own special scheme, which will be solely handled by them.

Records reveal that increasing demand for insurance settlement by widows and dependants of police and other paramilitary officers, who die in terrorist and armed robbery attacks in the country, has been forcing insurance firms to record heavy claims.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, confirmed the desire of the police to get their own insurance scheme.

“The armed forces opted out of the government scheme about two years ago, and the police are also leaving the group life insurance scheme of the Federal Government for a new scheme,” he said.

While responding to questions on whether the premium for the 2013 insurance policy for federal workers would still be paid or not, Daniel said, “I expect they will continue to renew the cover if they have money to pay. I expect they will continue.”

The President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mrs. Laide Osijo, also said no premium had been paid for the 2013 insurance cover of federal civil servants, and that 59 per cent of last year’s premium had yet to be paid.

If the arrears for last year and this year were not paid, Osijo said the implication was that the relatives of the deceased workers would not be compensated. Last month, suspected members of the violent Boko Haram Islamic sect attacked Bama, Borno State, and caused the death of 55 people, including 22 police officers, 14 prison officials and two soldiers.

Scores also died, while several others were injured in January during multiple explosions and suicide bomb attacks on police stations and security agencies in Kano.

The Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance Plc, a life underwriter, Mr. Alphonse Okpor, who also confirmed that the police had pulled out of the government’s policy and were looking for a new insurance scheme, noted that insurance firms were recording huge claims from losses from the police portfolio.

According to him, the police have two types of insurance policies, which are the group life assurance and personal accident insurance.

While the group life pays claims to dependants if a police officer dies, the personal accident policy caters for injuries if the officer does not die, he said.

Due to the increase in casualty number and injuries suffered by the police officers, he said there was the need to increase the insurance package for them.

“As far as cover for the police is concerned, the claims emanating from them has increased, whether from attacks from insurgents or armed robbery attacks,” Okpor said.