As the world is evolving, the application of technology is also increasing thereby disrupting the way and manner businesses are conducted globally.
Today, wherever it is in Nigeria, with the help of technology and mobile phone, motor insurance policyholders can now verify genuineness of their policies online real-time, using a dedicated platform or code such as askniid.org or the USSD code 56511#.
Indeed, the Nigerian insurers have invested heavily in acquiring technology to make its operations seamless and accessible to its customers hence the introduction of www.askniid.org.
The www.askniid.org is where all insurance companies and agents are expected to upload the details of any motor insurance policy issued for record keeping and authentication. Therefore, any motor insurance policy that you buy and cannot be verified on the NIID portal is not authentic – even if it was bought from an insurance company.
The reason policyholders must ensure the authenticity of their policies is that when claims occur, they can be compensated adequately. Claims compensation cannot be paid to those with fake motor insurance certificate whose status cannot be ascertained on the NIID platform.
With the recent upward review of the Premium Rates for motor Insurance by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) which took effect January 1, 2023, vehicle owners are entitled to enhanced compensations and thereby cannot afford to miss out from this because of obtaining fake insurance policy.
For instance, the third party insurance premium rate for private motors is now N15,000 while the claims limit is N3 million; Own goods third party premium is N20,000 with N5 million compensation; Staff bus attracted N20,000 premium with N3 million compensation; Commercial (trucks, general cartage) N100,000 premium with N5 million compensation; Special types attracted N20,000 premium with N3 million compensation; Tricycle attracted N5,000 with N2 million compensation; Motorcycle N3,000 premium with N1m compensation.
How To Verify Your Insurance Policy Using www.askniid.org or USSD Code 56511#
The policyholders whose vehicle insurance details had been uploaded on the NIID can check their motor insurance policy status by visiting www.askniid.org or by sending Short Messaging Service (SMS) to the USSD code 56511# on any mobile phone with with or without internet access.
Or, you can just log on to website www.askniid.org and follow the instructions laid out. You could enter your Vehicle Number or Insurance Policy number to confirm its authenticity. Once your particulars are entered, the result will appear right in front of you.
Using this platform is very easy and you can authenticate your policy in a few short steps: From any web enabled device, visit http://www.askniid.org. Your browser should take you to a page on NIID portal where you can verify your insurance policy.
On the askniid.org portal home page, look in the header or body of the page for the “Check Policy” and click on it. You would be asked if you want to check for a vehicle policy or a marine policy. Select the desired policy you want to check.
If it is a vehicle policy, you can then either enter your car insurance policy number or your car registration number and then click ‘search’ to see if you have an authentic policy. If your policy document is not captured in the Nigerian Insurance Industry Data base (NIID), then that policy document you have as motor third party insurance certificate is fake and worth nothing.
If the resultant message says, “Your Policy is not found!!!” or “Not available on NIID database,” then know that what you are parading as insurance is fake. But if it’s there, it tells you immediately the name in which your vehicle is registered; the make and model of the vehicle; the colour of the vehicle; name of the insurance company and date of expiration of the policy.
As a tool for checkmating fake compulsory insurance certificates, the ASKNIID.ORG is used by all stakeholders including authorized Law Enforcement Agencies to validate insurance certificates presented by the policy holder.
According to the Director General, NIA, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, “Verifying the authenticity of your vehicle insurance policy on the NIID gives you peace of mind and assurance that your claim will be paid”.
NAICOM said NIID which is a product of the NIA, has recorded tremendous success over the years leading the Commission’s collaborative initiative with the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Nigeria Police Force and the Vehicle Inspection Office on ways to curb fraudulent motor insurance schemes.
The Commission believes that the NIID is helping to reduce the number of fraudulent activities. Every genuine motor insurance policy issued by any insurer in the country is uploaded onto the NIID, which is available to all security agencies. Motorists can validate the authenticity of their insurance policies with text messages to the NIID.
The Nigerian Insurers Association in conjunction with the Nigerian insurance industry primary regulator, NAICOM in 2010 took a major step towards eliminating fake insurance certificates in the market by introducing the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) an electronic platform which allows Insurance Policyholders to verify the authenticity of their certificates.
The platform went live in 2011 and so enabled insurance policies obtained by motorists to be verifiable online on the Internet and through dedicated hand-held devices.
The objectives of the NIID were to serve as an authentic database of the Nigerian insurance industry data, and provide qualitative statistics/analysis of the industry data, as a vehicle for easy verification of genuine insurance certificates by all stakeholders.
Speaking on the issue, Segun Bankole, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, said the reason for verifying the status of the motor insurance by the policyholders is to ensure the originality of policy so that when there is claim, such a policyholder can be paid.
He said, secondly it also save the person from embarrassment when he/she is accosted on the road by the law enforcement agents, adding that knowing the Status of your insurance policy is necessary because it gives the holder peace of mind that when there is claim he/she will be paid.
While encouraging the policyholders to always check the status of their policies on the www.askniid.com platform, and follow the instructions, Mr Bankole said the premium payment arrangement can be simplified into quarterly or three or four times yearly depending on the policyholders agreement with his/her insurer.
He said if premium is quarterly, the policyholder can check the status of their policy every quarter and three to four times if it is yearly.
Bankole said the benefits of having a genuine Third Party insurance are enormous, adding that with N15,000 premium you have a Third Party Property Damage compensation limit of up to N3 million.
He said the consequences of having a fake insurance policy include embarrassment by the law enforcement agents, adding that it is also against the law for motorists to drive without a genuine Third Party or Comprehensive Motor insurance and the offender can be jailed for this.
To encourage policyholders to always check the status of their policies, he said there should be constant and consistent awareness by the relevant industry regulators even as he advocated for collaboration between the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and NAICOM to take insurance awareness as a national issue.
He said if all the motorists on the road are adequately informed on the importance and benefits of Third Party insurance, the industry will be better for it and contribute significantly to nation’s growth.