The management of an insurance corporation, Leadway Assurance Company has denied defrauding an Abuja-based man, Jolayemi Woleola.
Woleola had accused the insurance corporation of fraud involving over multi-million naira claims on his damaged vehicle.
He described the attitude and disposition of the company to his insurance claim as appalling, disappointing, annoying and frustrating.
"I entered into a vehicle insurance contract with Leadway covering my Mercedes Benz E 300 2017 model. The insured car was involved in an accident with a trailer on Kubwa express in Abuja on 23/07/2021,” he had told SaharaReporters.
"I presented my claim to Leadway after relevant documents like the police report were issued. The Leadway insurance has maliciously refused to reinstate me to the position I was in prior to the accident.
"Leadway has been coming up with excuses including outright lies to refuse the fulfilment of their obligation towards me.
"Leadway started from questioning the veracity of an accident which threatened my life to outright lies of claiming to visit the hospital where I was treated of bleeding and being told no patient was treated on that day to twisting outright glaring facts as to the value of the vehicle prior to insuring same.”
Reacting in a letter signed by its Head of Legal Services Department, Sunday Oroleke to SaharaReporters, the company said it was shocked by the allegation of “fraudulent intent” made by Woleola and thereby rebutted it.
Leadway said the insured rejected a settlement offer of N3,711,955.09 and demanded N13,443,982.77 for a vehicle he claimed to have bought for N15,000,000.00.
The letter read, “Our attention has been brought to a publication by Sahara Reporters regarding an allegation by one of our customers, Mr. Jolayemi Woleola (insured), that we fraudulently denied his motor vehicle insurance claim.
"We are shocked by the allegation of 'fraudulent intent' made by the insured and hereby rebut it all. We value this responsibility and hereby tender the facts of the claim for clarity:
“We confirm that Mr. Jolayemi Woleola is the holder of a comprehensive motor insurance policy with our company on his Mercedes Benz with registration number RBC 123 BL. He insured his vehicle for the sum of Fifteen Million Naira (N15,000,000.00) and the policy was effective 26th April, 2021 upon payment of Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand Naira (N375,000.00) being the total premium on the policy.
“On the 7th of June, 2021, barely two (2) months from the inception of the policy, the insured lodged a claim for a damage to the windscreen and front headlight of the insured vehicle and submitted a quotation of Three Million, Six Hundred and Sixty- Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Four Naira, Ninety-Three Kobo (N3,669,274.93). Upon receipt of the claim, we engaged an independent loss adjuster who adjusted the claim to One Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N1, 250,000.00). The insured accepted our settlement offer and we paid the adjusted sum to the insured on the 24th June, 2021.
“On the 13th of August, 2021, barely two months after the initial claim and about four months into the policy, the insured lodged another claim following an accident involving the same insured vehicle which he stated that he rammed into a moving trailer. He presented a quotation of Thirteen Million, Four Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Two Naira, Seventy-Seven Kobo (N13,443,982.77) being the cost of repair of his Mercedes Benz E300. As usual, we engaged an independent loss adjuster who adjusted the claim to Three Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Fifty- Six Kobo (N3,769,941.56).
“On the 10th of September, we communicated a formal net offer of the sum of Three Million, Seven Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira, Nine Kobo (N3,711,955.09) and forwarded discharge form for cash in lieu of repairs, given that the insured appeared to want to write off the vehicle despite it being repairable.
“The Insured rejected our offer, insisting that we should settle him on the basis of the sum insured which is contrary to the insurance principle of indemnity as we would be putting the insured in a position far better than he was immediately before the accident.
“In accordance with standard policy terms, an insurance company can either 'repair, reinstate, or replace' the damaged vehicle. The choice is solely dependent on the professional assessment of the extent of damage. It is also worthy to note that where an accident results in a loss with repair value in excess of 55% of the Sum Insured Value of the vehicle, it is treated as a 'constructive total loss', entitling the insurer to pay for replacement of the vehicle and the possession of the salvage (i.e., the damaged insured vehicle). In this case, the cost of repair was 25.1% of the Sum Insured Value of N15m, which is far less than 55%.
“The demand and insistence of the insured to claim full value of the insured vehicle appeared to be fraudulent, leading us to investigate why he wants to profit from insurance, particularly after the first accident with a similarly inflated claim that we allowed despite our reservations about it.
“In the course of our investigation, we discovered that the insured had purchased the vehicle as an accident vehicle via auction with primary damage to the front end, secondary damage to the right front and other internal issues which the insured had fraudulently concealed from the insurer at the point of taking up the policy.
“From the second accident, the insured in his quotation included some vehicle parts which had been damaged at the time he purchased the accident vehicle and prior to the second accident claimed by him. Rather than deny his second claim altogether, we accepted the dodgy fact of a moving trailer, superficial injury following this moving trailer story and still made an offer on parts that could have been damaged, assuming his story to be true.
Please note that we remain reputable for our payment of genuine claims and hold ourselves to high standards of best practices.
“This is evident in Mr. Jolayemi Woleola’s claim that was settled earlier in the year and our net offer of Three Million, Seven Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira, Nine Kobo (N3,711,955.09) less policy deductions, being the independently adjusted cost of repairs for his alleged damaged vehicle from an accident with a moving trailer.
“We kindly request that you retract your publication by publishing our facts and also circulate to counter the fraudulent use of your media in an attempt to blackmail us on an entitlement that is not due to the insured. This would also help in educating and enlightening the public on insurance matters.”