Compulsory Insurance in Nigeria: What Insurance Must You Buy?

Embracing the culture of insurance in Nigeria is far from being a reality as most people feel that insurance policies are not necessary.

An average Nigerian will happily buy a car and immediately start driving it around without the perceived burden of insurance expenses. But for the law, there will be no need to get any policy and he would gladly fix any damages due to accidents without waiting for claims.

The law has, however, developed compulsory insurance in Nigeria.

With compulsory insurance in Nigeria, what insurance must you buy?

The compulsory insurance acts have mandated certain insurance policies to the general public and these are the only type of insurance that is compulsory for you to buy. The objective of these insurance policies is to provide protection to third parties as well as the general public.

Compulsory insurance policies include the following:

Motor 3rd Party Liability Insurance – under the Insurance Act 2003 Section 68

The law states that “No person shall use or cause or permit any other person to use a motor vehicle on a road unless a liability which he may thereby incur in respect of damage to the property of third parties is insured with an insurer”. This insurance policy was made compulsory for owners and drivers of vehicles, motorcycles and other special type vehicles (both private and commercial). It is the required minimum policy by law and covers against liabilities such as death, damage to property or bodily injury of a third party arising due to the use of the insured vehicle.

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Employers Liability Insurance– under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1987

This law is targeted at employers and requires them to have insurance that will provide compensation for their workers in the event of injury, illness or death in the course of the employment. The employee or their relative therefore has the right to claim compensation in the advent of any of the incidents mentioned earlier.

Employers Liability Insurance– (Group Life) – under the Pension Reform Act 2004

Employers with staff strength that is greater than four are mandated by law to buy into this policy. The law cuts across both public and private employers and under this law they are required to pay for pension subsidy in the event of mental or physical disability, death or disappearance while in service.

Builders Liability Insurance– under the Insurance Act 2003/under the Lagos State Building Control Law 2010

This insurance policy is compulsory for contractors and owners of buildings higher than two storeys’. This is to enable them provide compensation to their workers in case of building collapse, injury and death at the construction site.

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Occupiers Liability Insurance – under the Insurance Act 2003 and Lagos State Law

This is an insurance policy mandated by law for the owners or occupiers of public buildings (used as residential, offices, filling stations, hostels and so on). Compensation is paid to the business users and members of the public in case of natural disasters, death or building collapse.

Healthcare Professional Indemnity Insurance– under the NHIS Act 1999

All medical professionals, institutions and centers are required under law to buy this insurance policy. The institution is to register under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and compensation is provided under this scheme to NHIS patients for omissions or commissions of medical practitioners/institute, also for partial/permanent disabilities, sickness and injury.

There are other insurance policies which are of tremendous benefits to the public but the above are the only ones mandated by law.

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