Recent statistics of road accidents and fatalities resulting from them are very worrying. The social and economic impact of these accidents on families and the nation at large cannot be overemphasised.
One of the least heard among the list of those who bear the brunt of these accidents are the insurance companies.
The fact is that for almost every one of these accidents, insurance companies open files to undertake a contractual duty of paying compensations and reimbursing for medical expenses and other costs associated with these accidents.
They deal with the injured victims and families of those who unfortunately die through these accidents.
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When accidents cause deaths and injuries, not much can be done to restore the human losses and it is common to see people lose the use of parts of their bodies after such accidents.
Most others also either suffer a diminution in their ability to work or lose it completely and it is in such instances that compensations paid by insurance companies come in to bring some form of restoration.
Insurance companies have for a very long time shown considerable interest in ensuring that road traffic accidents are brought to the barest minimum.
They have consistently adopted measures to ensure the safety of their clients and society at large by encouraging and rewarding responsible driving behaviours.
In January 2020, the National Insurance Commission introduced the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to curb the issue of uninsured vehicles on the country’s roads.
The MID is the single source where the insurance status of every Ghanaian registered vehicle on public roads can be verified using a USSD code *920*57#.
The introduction of the MID has brought a significant reduction in the number of victims of accidents involving uninsured vehicles and the NIC and the insurance industry deserve commendation.
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To encourage good driving behaviour even among insured drivers and vehicles, insurance companies reward their clients with a reduced premium if they drive a full year without an accident.
One could get as high as 50 per cent discounts on their insurance premiums, and this serves as an incentive for careful driving.
Again, insurance companies collaborate with various institutions (both public and private) who work to ensure safety on our roads to embark on activities aimed at reducing road traffic accidents.
There is a strong collaboration among the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Driver & Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA), Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police service in ensuring the safety of the roads.
Customer-focused and innovative insurers such as Hollard Insurance have gone a step further to offer roadside assistance to clients.
Such services include: Replacement of Flat Tyre (with client’s spare tyre), Jumpstart of Battery, Limited Fan Belt Repairs, Limited Overheating Issues, Limited Electrical Malfunctions and Fuel Assistance (at client’s own cost for the fuel).
These services are not part of the regular insurance services in Ghana and even in countries where they are, they come at an additional fee. Hollard Insurance offers this for free and the response time is around 30 minutes from the time the customer calls.
This reduces the number of broken-down vehicles on our roads and the rate of accidents.
Aside from the above, insurance companies also require their clients to comply with stated terms and conditions under their policies and such terms and conditions reinforce the legal and safety measures required for safety on roads.
These may include restricting driving to only duly licenced drivers.
It is incontestable that insurance companies play significant roles in ensuring safety on our roads and even when accidents happen, the compensations paid by them go a long way to alleviate the economic hardships on the injured and dependents of those who unfortunately die.
We may not be able to stop accidents fully but through insurance, we can significantly reduce the numbers and alleviate its economic impact through payment of compensation by the insurance companies.
Before jumping onto the next vehicle to ply a public road, remember to check if it is insured by using the short code *920*57#. If it is Hollard insured, we’ve got you covered.
The writer is the General Manager in-charge of Operations at Hollard Insurance