More than three years after an aircraft belonging to Dana Airline crashed on June 3, 2012 in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, killing more than 163 people, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the insurance operators in Nigeria are still not happy with the way the insurance of the ill-fated aircraft was managed by the industry.
This development compelled the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) to set up a committee to review the controversial insurance of the crashed aircraft so as to learn from it going forward and to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated in the future.
NIA’s Director General, Sunday Thomas, affirmed that: “the Nigerian Insurers Association set up a
committee to review the management of the Dana insurance business with a view to learning relevant lessons.”
Controversies had trailed the insurance of the crashed Dana airplane, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, as the required premium was alleged not to have been paid to the insurers.
With the ill-fated aircraft insured with Prestige Assurance plc 30 per cent as the lead underwriter, while the remaining 70 per cent was insured through AON in the international market, the six co-insurers in the country denied receiving any premium.
The co-insurers: NEM Insurance Plc, Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, Staco Insurance Plc, Royal Exchange General Assurance Plc, Union Assurance Plc and Leadway Assurance Company Limited, disowned Prestige Assurance and the airline, insisting that there was no insurance contract in place.
At a meeting between the Governing Council of NIA and the co-insurers in Lagos, it was revealed that the agreement between the insured and the insurer was that premium would be paid in quarterly installments effective from the commencement of the cover.
Although Prestige Assurance stated that N19.37 million was paid in respect of the first quarter for the local market, the company, however, did not inform any of the six co-insurers.
In view of the nature of claim which had attracted much public interest, and the fact that the integrity of the nation’s insurance market was at stake, the Governing Council resolved that to ensure the affected passengers and third parties were fully compensated; Dana should be made to pay all outstanding premiums from 2008 to 2012.