Phone SMS is used for more than just text messaging in Africa

The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has called on Nigerians to confirm the authenticity of their motor insurance policy on the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database Portal through the association’s Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code *565*11# on their phone.

NIA Director-General, Mrs Yetunde Ilori, who made the call at a media parley with newsmen in Lagos, said it is necessary for vehicle owners not to get caught by the authorities.

She urged vehicle owners, who buy either third party or comprehensive insurance, to ask the insurer to upload the policy on the NIID platform.

She, however, said the association has been moving from one insurance company to another to drum into operators the need to upload their sold motor policies on the NIID.

The association, she said has fined some insurance companies who do not upload motor policies sold on the platform, adding that the NIID remains one of the best ways to curb fake motor insurance policy.

She said: “The NIID remains one of the best ways to curb fake motor insurance policy. In a bid to help vehicle owners to easily verify the genuineness of their policies, the insurance industry introduced the USSD code *565*11#. The awareness on usage of USSD code *565*11# is really gaining more ground as people daily rely on it to settle issues bothering on genuineness of their policies.

“The NIID portal is the only central record of all insured vehicles in Nigeria. As one of the most important tools to ensure that only insured vehicles are driven on our roads, the ASKNIID is used by authorised law enforcement agencies to enforce motor vehicle insurance law.

“Vehicle owners, especially in Lagos State, where law enforcement agencies have come up with automated ways of checking whether your particulars are genuine, is where many people need to verify the genuineness of the insurance certificate before they get caught by the authorities for carrying fake insurance. When you take up your insurance, check the industry platform where insurance companies are supposed to upload whatever motor insurance they sell whether third party, comprehensive or whatever. So at the point of purchase, there is a question every vehicle owner that has bought insurance should be asking: Is my insurance already uploaded?”

She continued: “I appeal to everyone not to wait until the camera picks you and a letter is sent to your home to pay fine. There are some people, who just send their drivers or third party to renew their vehicle license particulars for them and they end up buying a fake insurance certificate. This is why the industry has come up with a way by which you can verify the genuineness of your policy. Don’t just hold the paper, be sure the paper you are holding is being underwritten by a licensed insurance company.”

She noted that a policy ought to be loaded on the platform within 24 hours, adding that a vehicle owner needs not have internet facility on his or her phone to verify a policy on the platform, but can do so on any phone through the USSD code.

In terms of usage of the code, she said many people are using it, but the association is trying to create more awareness to get everybody on board.

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