Victims of road accidents barely get any compensation from the government imposed “Act liability insurance” due to complications and lack of uniformity in the regulations.
Sources says apart from influential transport owners most of the stakeholders hardly get any benefit out of this process.
According to Bangladesh Passengers’ Welfare Association statistics, yearly casualties in road accidents amount to 15,000-20,000. Among them one-third end up dead and two-thirds are injured. Under government imposed ‘Act liability insurance’ victims usually get no relief.
According to Insurance Act, deceased and injured in a road accident will get compensation from the insurance company. Insurance companies are liable to pay the families of the deceased tk20,000 and tk5-10 thousand for injured, going up to tk50,000 of compensation depending on the type of damages.
Following the law ‘Act liability Insurance’ is mandatory for every vehicles to get registration. Even traffic policemen are authorized to fine the vehicles without insurance but none of it goes to the victims.
Bangladesh Passengers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh report says that last year, 7,397 were deceased and 16,193 were injured in 4,979 road accidents across the country.
And following the Insurance Act, the families of 7,397 deceased were supposed to get tk14,79,40000 and the injured are supposed to get a minimum amount tk5,000 amounting to a total of tk8,09,65000. But none of them got any money for their insurance.
Green Insurance Company Limited Bangladesh Chief Executive Officer Saifuddin Ahmed Chowdhury told the Dhaka tribune, “The family members of the victims have to file complaint at police station to get compensation but without any police report we can’t provide compensation. If someone shows up with a report we provide their compensation.”
Regarding lack of insurance claims he said that the insurance only covers 20 thousand taka and according to the law, insurance companies demand updated diver’s license and papers of vehicle. Nobody wants to go through this hassle for this little amount money and that is the reason for the lack of insurance claim.
The insurance officer also said, “Compensation of Tk 20,000 is outdated and to raise the insurance claims the amendment of the law is required by increasing insurance premiums.”
Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Samity secretary general Khandaker Enayet Ullah told the Dhaka Tribune, “Insurance claim is a complex and lengthy process. Large transport owners gets partial premiums through pleas.”
He further said, “In case of road accidents there is first and third party insurance. Insurance companies compensate transport owners in the first party insurance. And third party insurance is for passengers, drivers and helpers. Though some passengers complain, they can’t provide required documents as a result, they are not paid.”
Bangladesh Passengers’ Welfare Association secretary general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said,
“To prove a claim victims have to go through various legal proceedings and offices. The process costs at least 30 to 40 thousand taka and nobody want to spend that much for 20 thousand taka. Besides, many are unaware of the service so money remains in the hands of the insurance company.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com