‘Nu­mer­ous ac­ci­dent claims drain fis­cus’

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

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.

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