NIA Engages NAICOM on Publication of Outstanding Claims Amidst Data Protection Rights

The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has opened talks with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on the directive to insurance companies to publish outstanding claims in their records on the grounds that publishing such information may contravene Nigeria’s Data Protection Act 2023.

It was gathered that the leadership of NIA, which represents all insurance companies was seeking common grounds that would not subject insurers to litigations by policy holders for exposing their data.

The NAICOM had recently mandated all insurance companies to commence publication of all outstanding claims in their records.

Commissioner for Insurance/CEO of NAICOM, Olorundare Sunday Thomas, said the commission had written the operators and given them enough time to sort out all outstanding claims and begin publication in national dailies.

Thomas noted that there would be consequences for not adhering to the mandate, which includes naming and shaming erring insurers.

He pointed out that NAICOM had done a lot to ensure insurance companies lived up to their responsibility in claims payment.

The Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023 (“the Act”) was signed into law by President Bola Tinubu on June 12, 2023, and the Act provides a legal framework for the protection of personal information and establishes the Nigeria Data Protection Commission to regulate the processing of personal information.

The objectives of the Act include: “Safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms, and the interests of data subjects as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Providing for the regulation of processing of personal data; Promoting data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and privacy of data subjects; Ensuring that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and accountable manner.

“Protecting data subjects’ rights and providing means of recourse and remedies, in the event of the breach of the data subjects’ rights; Ensuring that data controllers and data processors fulfill their obligations to data subjects; Establishing an impartial, independent and effective regulatory Commission to superintend over data protection and privacy issues, and supervise data controllers and data processors; and Strengthening the legal foundations of the national digital economy and guaranteeing the participation of Nigeria in the regional and global economies through the beneficial and trusted use of personal data.”

The Act prescribes the lawful basis for processing personal data and states penalties for non-compliance with its provisions.