Last week I had a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) watching hoodlums damage the vehicles of innocent passersby as the prevailing nationwide cash paucity took a violent turn in Abeokuta. The event reminded me of a similar incident that left my newly purchased car in ruins and my finances almost in penury until I was saved by the bell, literally.
About two years ago, I went for lunch with a newfound friend in Ebute Meta, Lagos. It was an excellent day as I had the opportunity to give my friend a spin in my new car and get to know each other better over lunch.
So, I left my workplace near Bode Thomas, in Surulere and drove to a popular restaurant famed for its hot and spicy Amala and Gbegiri (bean soup). I wanted to show that I was an authentic and down-to-earth guy. It was a fantastic dating strategy; she loved the place and food. I was having a great day, and every step I took aligned in my favour. But then all that changed in minutes as a sudden commotion outside the restaurant forced the owner to shut the doors quickly, assuring us that we were okay.
Peace returned to the neighbourhood thirty minutes later, and we dashed off to the car park so that I could get back to work as soon as possible. My relief at the return to calm vanished into thin air. The newly purchased vehicle was in total ruin. The car was so severely battered that it felt like a natural disaster in the form of an angry hurricane had wreaked havoc on my car. The attack left my windscreen shattered, the side mirrors broken, the tires torn, the leather seats torn to smithereens, and the vehicle body pummeled and left in bad shape. All I could muster was, “who did this?”. The taste of the hitherto exceptional dining experience disappeared from my palate. I wanted to cry so badly, but not in front of my beautiful guest.
After assessing damages to his property, the restaurant owner showed up to commiserate with us and subtly reminded us that we had parked in a zone marked “parked at owner’s risk”. I scoffed at his caveat as that was the only designated car park for the restaurant. I had no intention to press charges, but I was disappointed at his approach. All I wanted to know at that point was what on earth had transpired in the last thirty minutes that seemed to have ruined my day.
“It is a group of rival thugs fighting each other”, the man said. There is always tension when there is a change of leadership in the local park. I did a quick mental cost assessment of the damages and came to a staggering valuation that left a sick pain in my stomach. But I was relieved knowing I had vehicle insurance for the new car. So, I took pictures of the damaged car and shared them and my ordeal with my insurance company.
“I have to check that you have extended coverage for the risk of strikes, riots and civil commotions (SRCC). You may not be able to get your claims if there is no extension, as these damages have occurred in uncovered circumstances”. I could hardly hear the last part of the sentence. I was yet to recover from almost emptying my pockets to get this car, and now I have to look for extra funds to effect comprehensive repairs. I started to have a panic attack, and the first quantum of tears began to drop when the insurance representative called back.
“Hello Ibrahim. Thank God your vehicle policy has the SRCC extension. We would send our representative to come and assess the extent of the damage”. It was as if a referee had waved his hands hysterically to ward off my opposing boxer from landing a knock-out blow. I have been saved by the bell, literally!
As I watched the videos of the riots and civil commotion in Abeokuta and the vehicle damages, I wondered if the innocent car owners had the SRCC cover included in their vehicle insurance.
Amid the prevailing socio-economic tensions in the country, there is a high risk of being caught in an erupted civic commotion, even in places we believe to be safe havens. The good news is that one of Nigeria’s most innovative risk management institutions and leading underwriters, Leadway Assurance, is paving the way in the design of risk mitigation solution that offers the possibility of a silver lining to customers and prospects alike in the event of strike riot and civil commotion (SRCC) – fueled causalities/risk exposure.
The Leadway motor insurance policy provides comprehensive cover for the insured and their vehicles with options to take up extensions which provide cover in the event of SRCC exposure. This corporate action has heightened optimism for those concerned about the current security tensions in the country. This policy brings peace of mind!
To know more about evaluating your risks at these times and what mitigation steps to take, you can contact Leadway’s professional advisers on 01-2800-700 or email Lcs@leadway.com
You can also visit www.leadway.com or speak to the Leadway Assurance Financial Management Experts for professional advice on the next steps. Your best solutions are always within reach.