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02.09.2004 Regional News

NIC to help those who find it difficult in making insurance claims

By GNA

Bolgatanga, Sept. 2, GNA- The National Insurance Commission (NIC) on Wednesday asked transport owners and drivers to call at its offices for assistance anytime they had difficulties in making insurance claims from any of the companies.

The Commission has a complaints and settlements bureau that receives complaints from members of the public and handles all manner of grievances relating to any insurance matter.

It also has a fund to compensate persons who suffer injury or death through motor accident and are unable to obtain compensation from an insurance company.

Mr Gordon Wiru, a Legal Officer at the NIC said this when officers of the Commission met with members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) in Bolgatanga on Thursday.

He explained that NIC registers, licenses, monitors and supervises insurance companies.

The complaint unit, he said, takes clients who have exhausted all means of getting compensation from insurance companies and through arbitration, settles the matter.

"The procedure for complaints could be through writing or personal contact with the unit," he added.

Mr Wiru said the fund would cater for anybody who had been injured in a motor accident but was unable to obtain compensation from an insurance company due to some reasons, including hit and run cases, or when the vehicle owner breaches a policy condition and renders the policy invalid or inoperative.

He said payments were also made in cases where the vehicle owner fails to take a motor insurance policy or that the policy had expired at the time of accident.

He said however, that the fund was not meant to relieve insurance companies of their liabilities nor encourage motorists not to insure their vehicles.

"It is a last resort, so the claimant must prove that he or she has tried without success to make a claim from the insurer of the offending driver or vehicle owner," he said.

Mr Philip Kabutey-Ongor, an Insurance Officer, cautioned the drivers against buying fake insurance stickers and the ECOWAS Brown Card, a cross-border insurance policy.

Mr Godfried Abulbire, Upper East Regional Chairman of the GPRTU said many accidents victims in the area did not claim insurance due to ignorance and reluctance to pursue the "cumbersome" procedure. He said with the NIC ready to help, the drivers would not hesitate to patronise insurance policies.

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