Following the widespread looting and vandalization which marred the anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria, Insurance companies in the country would be inundated with claims as they are trying to stabilize from the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since last week, young Nigerians have been protesting against the incessant torture, extortion and the extrajudicial killings of their peers by the officers of the Nigeria Police Force. The street demonstrations became violent days later, after thugs, suspected to be hired by politicians to discredit the protests, hijacked the movement.
The situation went from bad to worse after gunmen dressed in the Nigerian Army uniform, on Tuesday night, Oct. 20, opened fire on unarmed and sit-in protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.
In the wake of the shooting, angry youths and hoodlums took over the streets, defying the 24-hour curfew imposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu earlier on Tuesday, and began to set government and private properties ablaze while others looted various stores across the country.
The hoodlums burnt down over 20 mass transit buses owned by Primero Transport in Lagos. The company said it has lost over N100 million so far.
“We are hoping something better will come out of the situation because, presently, the situation has impacted negatively on our business in terms of revenue generation. We have lost over N100 million in the last six days,” Primero’s Head of Corporate Communications, said in a statement released earlier in the week.
Other properties set ablaze and looted by the mob included shopping malls, media houses, toll plazas and police stations among others. Small to medium-size stores were also not spared.
Although most insurance contracts exclude damage to property from war and riots, some of the firms would pay for the risks.
In 2017, Insurance companies in Nigeria paid a total non-life insurance claim of N56.4 billion while N64 billion was paid in 2018. The claims from fire insurance were about N9.1 billion and Motor Vehicle was N17.3 billion, according to NAICOM.
In the second-quarter GDP report published by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Insurance sector posted a contraction of 29.53%, which is said to likely drop into a recession when the NBS releases its third-quarter GDP report in a few weeks from now. The decline is believed to be as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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