Comesa countries urged to embrace regional insurance scheme

Comesa countries urged to embrace regional insurance scheme
Published: 27 September 2017
COUNTRIES in East and Southern Africa have been urged to fully embrace the Yellow Card scheme, which seeks to provide third-party insurance cover to motorists as part of measures to facilitate intra-regional trade.

The Yellow Card scheme is a regional motor vehicle insurance scheme that provides third party legal liability cover and compensation for medical expenses resulting from road traffic accidents caused by visiting motorists in any member state.

It has been in force since 1986 when a Council of Ministers ratified it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The scheme has, however, faced challenges such as delays in settlement of claims, low uptake, fraud as well as differences in individual member states' laws.

The model is applicable to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region.

Officially opening the 31st meeting of the Council of Bureau on the Regional Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance (Yellow Card) Scheme here on Monday, Commissioner of Insurance and Pensions in Zimbabwe, Mr Tendai Karonga, said the country had stepped up efforts to implement the scheme.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to urge the member states, especially those who are land-locked and at the end of the transit chain and will gain most from implementation of the scheme such as Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe to step up their efforts to implement the scheme without further delay," he said.

Mr Karonga said economic integration and easier movement of people and goods can only be achieved with the harmonisation of the Comesa and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) systems. The region is working on revitalising the regional bloc's scheme.

Mr Karonga said in Zimbabwe the scheme has been widely accepted and contributes to the facilitation of cross border movement of vehicles, goods and persons within the region.

He challenged experts to reform claims management system and come up with an efficient mechanism for handling and payment of claims.

The Comesa Yellow Card recognises member countries and their motorists, guaranteeing minimum insurance cover required by the laws of the country visited by travelling motorists.

The most important thing is that one buys cover in one country and uses it for the entire period of travel around member states without paying at each border.

If involved in accident in any member country, one has to inform that country's Yellow Card National Bureau, which will handle the matter.

By virtue of its strategic location, Zimbabwe has a high traffic movement of vehicles linking the whole region with some of its neighbours not party to the scheme.

Lack of harmonisation creates inconvenience to cross border motorists and makes the cost of transporting goods and services very expensive.

- online
Tags: Comesa,


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