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The Nigerian Insurers Association has increased the compensation it promised to pay the dependants of doctors who died in the course of treating coronavirus patients in Nigeria from N1m to N3m.
The NIA Chairman, Mr Tope Smart, who disclosed this said this was part of the industry’s contribution to boosting the health workers’ morale and supporting the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The underwriters, however, retained the amount they promised to pay nurses and other auxiliary workers if they die while attending to COVID-19 patients at N1m.
Smart said this was in addition to arrangements by the association to procure testing kits and protective materials for the use of health workers in the front line of the fight against the virus.
“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 said.
The NIA chairman noted that the front-line workers were exposed to a lot of risks and as an association, they felt the need to provide cover for them, adding that all insurance companies, the insurance brokers and the National Insurance Commission decided to come together to support the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
The acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, had said NAICOM would coordinate the initiative in order to make it impactful.
Also, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBNInsurance, Mr Val Ojumah, said the NIA was working with the Federal Government through NAICOM.
He said the funds being put together by the industry was N500m and the premium for the cover would be taken from the funds.
Ojumah said, “We are looking at covering about 5,000 doctors, nurses and other auxiliary workers involved in the COVID-19 intervention. We decided to modify the compensation; the benefit is N3m for doctors, N1m for nurses and others and it is a death cover only if the death arises from their intervention in the COVID-19 fight.”
“It is the benefit for the families of any of these classified groups if they died during the intervention period.”
He said they would rely on the government, which would have a record of all causalities, for the details of the relatives to be compensated for easy payment of the claims.
He disclosed that 18 life insurance companies were going to participate in the insurance cover.
Ojumah said the contribution into the N500m fund would be paid by both the general and life insurance companies, while some other insurance brokers were expected to join in the contribution.