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Insurers settle only 8pc claims in third quarter



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Report says long-term life insurance had the highest claims settlement ratio in Q3. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The insurance industry settled only 8.2 per cent of general business claims by third parties in quarter three with most of the claims remaining outstanding.

Long-term or life insurance had the highest claims settlement ratio at 64.9 per cent, said a report by then Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).

However, the IRA figures did not show the value of the claims, which experts said would give a more complete picture of the situation.

A regulator source however argued that there has been a tendency for the industry to concentrate on the amounts of money paid out and ignoring the number of claims made and settled and therefore the lives affected, thus the need to release the new figures.

It was also noted claims were accumulating in numbers yet settlement remained low especially for third-party claims.

“This must be a new way of looking at claims, but they need to go further and give a more complete picture. We need to see the amounts settled,” argued Isaac Ng’aru, an insurance expert.

For policy holder’s claims, also referred to by the IRA as non-liability claims, the number settled stood at 64.7 per cent during the quarter, an improvement from 60 per cent in the previous quarter.

The data further showed that liability claims or those that came as third-party types stood at 7.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year, indicating that the third quarter had a slight improvement.

At the beginning of the quarter, some 132,200 third-party claims were outstanding and by the end of the period, 135,448 claims were yet to be paid as more new claims came in than were settled.

Some 18,179 new claims were made in the period, but only 12,318 in total were paid – without revealing the number that was paid out of the older claims and what was settled out of the claims specifically generated from that quarter. Mr Ng’aru said the data should be improved to show the amount of claims settled during the quarter as a proportion of the total that were specifically made.