Prime Insurance – Rwanda is in court being sued for Rwf374 million by a Rwandan businessman whose property was consumed by fire destroying equipment and property worth millions in December 2017.
The insurer is currently facing a lawsuit against Kigali businessman Jeremie Kalisa, proprietor of Simaco Ltd and Managing Director of Afrifoam & Simaco group.
Kalisa claims that he had insured his commercial building located in Rugando suburb adjacent to Kigali Convention Center, but when he requested for compensation he was only given an option of rehabilitating the structure.
“They (Prime) said that they will use the bricks which were burnt to rehabilitate the structure and this is where we disagreed,” Kalisa said while appearing in the commercial court on November 13, 2018.
The claimant states that cause of the fire is not known till to date, but the defendants (Prime Insurance) represented by two lawyers – one of them Cyprien Gatete, a recently retired police commissioner, argue that the plot which was set on fire was not part of what was insured.
“Whatever was damaged was refurbished and that is what was in the insurance cover. Part of the damage claimed was in an area which we didn’t insure,” one of the Prime Insurance defense lawyers said.
Both the plaintiff and defendant also informed court that they conducted an expertise and counter-expertise review of the property damage and cause of fire.
Kalisa’s attorney requested that his client be paid Rwf 374 million as compensation for property and equipment damage.
However, raising confusion over the exact location of the plot between two plots located in Rugando 474 and 633, the judge ruled that another separate expertise be conducted before the trial continues in depth.
The question that court remained pondering about is how possible it is to know the value of the area that was burnt was at the same time refurbished and how this will be reconciled in case of any decision.
To ensure this is clarified, court ordered that both parties bring an evaluator who will be tasked by court on what to do in a seemingly reconciling evaluation that will break the tie between the two parties.
Both Prime Insurance and Simaco will appear in court again on December 4, 2018 to present their evaluators and decide on proceeding of the case.