App taxis drivers who are aged below 25 years, and their passengers stand a risk of not receiving any insurance benefits when they get involve in an accident, the SIC Insurance PLC has revealed.
Mrs Cynthia Kwarteng Tufuor, Tema Area Manager of SIC, with oversight responsibilities over parts of Volta and Eastern Regions, stated that in accordance with the law, persons aged below 25 years cannot be insured to drive commercial vehicles even though they may be in possession of a valid driver’s license.
Mrs Tufuor stated at the Ghana News Agency, Tema Office and Tema Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) Road Safety campaign platform.
The GNA-Tema and MTTD Road Safety Project seeks to actively create consistent and systematic weekly awareness advocacy on the need to be cautious on the road as a user, educate all road users of their respective responsibilities, and sensitize drivers especially of the tenets of road safety regulations, rules and laws.
Mrs Tufuor revealed that app taxis fall under the commercial vehicle classification therefore even if the vehicle was insured either as a third-party or comprehensive, insurance companies would not pay claims to their victims, should there be an accident and investigations shows that driver was below 25 years.
The SIC Tema Area Manager noted that passengers of such under-age driver vehicles could apply to the National Insurance Commission for some token when the need arose but would not receive proper compensation, “we must therefore be vigilant and ensure that we are safe in the type of vehicles we use and who is driving us”.
She therefore urged app managers to ensure that their drivers were properly licensed and qualified by age to drive a commercial vehicle.
She said as part of claims payment insurance companies undertake investigations sometimes in collaboration with the security before payment of compensations.
“Now parents buy cars for their children for various reasons but some take advantage to register with app taxi and start picking passengers irrespective of their age, but the law says a commercial driver should be 25 years and above,” she said.
Mrs Tufuor said, “Most of these vehicles are required by the app operators to do comprehensive insurance, but the truth is even if you have comprehensive and the driver’s age is below 25 years, insurance companies would not pay the compensation”.
Touching on other factors that might affect the payment of claims, Ms Cynthia Twumasi, Deputy SIC Tema Area Manager said a driver’s class of license must match with the permitted vehicles they could driver.
She also revealed that, a driver must also have the permission of a vehicle owner before driving, insurance must be active, as well as have a non-expired road worthy, among others.
She said the false notion that insurance companies willingly take premiums from their clients but refuse to pay claims was not true explaining that some of these factors could prevent the companies from payment.
Ms Twumasi said some car owners takes third party policy but in case of an accident apply for comprehensive claims which they do not qualify for.
She therefore advised the public, drivers and vehicle owners to read terms and conditions of insurance packages, as well as ask for clarification where needed to make informed choices as that was very important.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Manager of Ghana News Agency said the GNA-Tema Road Safety Campaign seeks to link-up with other stakeholders to advocate and sensitize the public on road safety related issues.
Mr Ameyibor said stakeholders including religious leaders, traditional leaders, politicians and local government practitioners would be given the platform to educate their constituents, congregants and the public of the importance of keeping the roads safe.