About 40 percent of the vehicles on the roads of New Providence are uninsured, and the insurance industry wants the government to do something about it, Deputy Chairman of the Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) Anton Sealey said yesterday.
Sealey noted the insurance industry has suggested to the government ways to curtail this illegal activity on more than one occasion, but he lamented that enforcement is the most important part of the equation that has yet to be solved.
He explained that the insurance industry has suggested a system tied to the insurance companies and the road traffic department so that all parties become aware when an insurance policy is cancelled for non-payment.
“We have an issue, four of every ten cars on the road do not have insurance. It is an epidemic,” said Sealey.
“It boils down to enforcement. You can have all the laws on the books you want, but unless you are prepared to enforce them and enforce them across the board and consistently and rigidly, it’s not going to have the desired effect in my opinion.
“If there is no insurance then the vast number of accidents that occur on our streets… the unfortunate persons who are the victims of those accidents cannot recover. Sometimes they lose their vehicles, sometimes they lose their livelihoods, and in extreme cases, they lose their lives and the families are not able to be compensated for that.
So, it is a major problem that we urge the government to really take a serious and concentrated look into.”
Sealey said oftentimes customers come into insurance companies and make a partial payment on the insurance in order to be issued a certificate so that they can get the vehicle licensed and never make another payment.
He said in other cases the insurance provider issues a 90-day cover note, a mechanism to assist customers in getting the car licensed in a timely manner, and never see the customer again.
“And if they don’t pay the balance, the insurance policy is cancelled,” said Sealey.
According to the BIA, there could be about 80,000 uninsured vehicles on the streets of New Providence.
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