‘Numerous accident claims drain fiscus’
THE Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) says the numerous road traffic accident claims in the country were draining resources meant for developmental purposes.
LNIG Assistant General Manager Tumelo Kepa told the Lesotho Times said many of the claims were a result of negligence and were avoidable.
Among LNIG’S responsibilities is to execute road accident liabilities on behalf of the government. Under the Motor Vehicle Insurance Order of 1989, the insurance company pays for bodily injuries and death claims resulting from road accidents.
Funds for the insurance coverage are collected through a fuel levy imposed on each litre of fuel purchased by motorists at a rate of three cents per litre of petrol and four cents per litre of diesel.
Advocate Kepa said there was a need for motorists and pedestrians alike to prevent high incidences of road accidents.
“LNIG handles many accident-related claims annually, and even though I am not mandated to reveal the exact statistics, we file about 35 to 40 claims in a month. You may find that in a single file, there are different types of claims depending on the nature of the case,” he said.
“LNIG covers bodily injuries and death cases resulting from road accidents but in the event of filing, a claimant can also cite other mitigating circumstances which arose from the accident such as loss of income if they were the breadwinner or pain and suffering.”
The frequent number of claims, Advocate Kepa said, were compelling the government to allocate more resources to that area.
“Instead of channelling the money towards developmental initiatives, the government is spending far too much money towards seeking relief for accidents which, in most cases, would have been avoided. Our economy is crumbling as a result.”
He said the facility could not fully compensate for loss of life and limb.
“Even though the government had good intentions in implementing the facility in the first place, there are some losses which cannot be replaced. When someone loses their life in an accident for instance, no amount of compensation can bring them back again,” said Advocate Kepa.
“When someone loses any part of their body, the compensation can’t restore a paraplegic to their former self.”
He said victims of road accidents could seek redress through the facility.
“The law compensates pedestrians and passengers who are not found to be at fault or negligent following an accidents. If passengers are involved in an accident where the driver has been found to have been negligent, the law states that an amount not exceeding M12 000 can be released towards their combined compensation,” Advocate Kepa said.
“But if the driver was not negligent, they could individually submit their claims to LNIG with respect to their cases. Pedestrians are required to file claims individually. However hit-and-run claims are not eligible for compensation.”
MANY accidents are caused by dangerous driving.