International Road Federation (IRF) India Chapter along with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is jointly organising a seminar on “Role of Insurance Sector in Road Safety” on July 12 at India International centre.
“ With 80 per cent of all road deaths worldwide estimated in low income countries , India leads the world in road accident deaths, with around 1,50,000 people being killed each year. There is one fatal accident every 3.7 minutes, which means 16 people die every hour and 390 every day. 40% of the accidents are of two wheelers by trucks. On an average, 2% of the country’s GDP is lost annually on account of road accidents and fatalities. These accidents often snatch away the sole bread earner in a family, pushing it into financial crisis and untold difficulties.” Said Mr K.K.Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).
“In India road safety capability is just being developed, the best way to reduce the scale of human tragedy is through traditional road safety interventions mainly prevention. As the basic objective of insurance systems is to compensate for losses incurred, the motor and personal injury insurance sector have a potentially key role in ameliorating the consequences of those casualties and crashes not avoided. They will also have an economic interest in the reduction of outlays, via a reduced number of casualties and crashes.” said Mr Kapila.
“Key issues to be considered during the seminar will include · Existing and potential influence of the motor insurance industry, fair and timely compensation of road victims, promotion of safe driving and discouragement of unsafe driving by insurers, funding of road safety activities from motor insurance and likely investment by insurance companies in road safety when faced with a loss making business” added Mr Kapila.
Insurance compliance is a problem for many countries worldwide, and especially in a few low income countries it varies from 10 to 80 percent. Although India mandates coverage for third party motor injuries, it is observed that motor insurance compliance is often low and/or limited. Few victims appear to receive compensation and many are believed to be unaware of their compensation rights. The traditional focus of insurance companies has been on vehicle damage rather than casualty reduction, which is of primary concern. The poor are not believed to be benefiting from motor insurance coverage or compensation, being disadvantaged at processing their claims. They receive little or no benefit from the motor insurance industry when involved in motor accidents. There is a clear need to improve the compensation and rehabilitation systems for road accident victims.
The Seminar will help in reinforcing the role that the insurance sector should play to improve the Indian road safety scenario and to provide assistance to the accident victims in an effective and timely manner. Further, it will pave way for suitable policies and required legislation to streamline the process.