Insurance takes into cognisance the fact that eventualities such as loss or damage can occur in everyday life and offers a means to reduce, repair or recover from loss or damage.  In relation to motor vehicles, the benefits of having an insurance cover/policy are enormous. It ensures compliance with the Insurance Act which stipulates that motorists have to insure their vehicles with at least a third party insurance before putting them on the road.  Obtaining an insurance cover also ensures that in case of damage to another’s vehicle, the liability for the damage will be borne by the insurance company and not the vehicle owner.

As highlighted above, putting an uninsured vehicle on the road is illegal and law enforcement agencies like the Federal Road Safety Corps (F.R.S.C.), Police and Vehicle Inspection Office (V.I.O) are always on the lookout for vehicles which go about without an insurance certificate.

It is one thing to have an insurance policy for your vehicle and quite another to have a genuine one. The Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) has given alarming statistics as to the high number of fake insurance policies. Only about 1.5 million vehicles out of the 7 million vehicles registered in the country have genuine insurance policies. This is possibly due to the use of short cuts, cheap means and middlemen in obtaining or processing these insurance policies. Many Nigerians however, are unaware of the fact that they have subscribed to a fake insurance policy and are inadvertently breaking the law. With law enforcement agencies now being trained and equipped to identify and fish out fake vehicle insurance certificates, everyone needs to be aware of the authenticity of their insurance certificates and vehicle documents they carry about after all, ignorance is no excuse to break the law.

The Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) has set up the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) where genuine insurance policies can be verified. The NIID Platform, which is available onwww.askniid.org, is the central record of all genuinely insured vehicles in Nigeria. All insurance companies are obligated to upload the details of a vehicle owner’s insurance policy on the platform within 24 hours of processing an insurance policy. Any vehicle whose details are not contained on the platform is not insured or the insurance on the vehicle is fake.

When a new insurance policy is obtained, the vehicle owner would within 24 hours receive a text message from the NIID platform which would confirm the authenticity of the insurance cover and state the Insurance policy number and the licence number.

For vehicle owners who already have an insurance policy and would want to verify the authenticity of their policies, for those who have access to the internet, they can do so by logging on towww.askniid.org and clicking “Check Policy” and imputing their Policy or Car Registration Number. Policies can also be verified through text messages by sending an SMS in the following format to 33125: Policy Number*Vehicle Plate Number.