Insurance companies of drivers who have been involved in a lorry accident are expected to indemnify the costs incurred as a result of the accident.

These costs may arise from the destruction of public property such as streetlights, benches, etc., and the hospital bills of injured persons, among others.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission, Dr Justice Ofori, who spoke on JoyNews’ AM show, October 13, 2021.

He explained that drivers without motor insurance would have to pay out of pocket for the costs incurred for the destruction of public property in the event of an accident.

He said, “This is how the law works. If you are a driver on a public road, you’re responsible or liable for any injuries or damage you cause. The liability falls on the owner or the operator of the vehicle.

“Now, if the owner has insurance, then the insurance will stand in his or her place and then indemnify or pay the losses on his or her behalf.”

He further explained that under the current insurance law regime, the basic amount available for public property damage is ¢5,000; hence, drivers are encouraged to acquire extra liability insurance in order to be fully covered.

“So if you damage a street light, the most you can claim from the insurance company, assuming the person has insurance is ¢5,000, and that is the basic.

“Unless this person has purchased extra liability insurance to give him a bigger coverage. The insured has the option of buying insurance more than the basic ¢5,000 that the law requires,” he explained.

Addressing the incidence of knocked down rails, streetlights and other public property left unrepaired, Dr. Justice Ofori said it is due to the lack of a functioning Claims Unit at the Roads Ministry to track vehicles involved in accidents and pursue the insurance companies involved to get the recovery.

“Sometimes it is difficult, but the insurance industry has come out with the motor insurance database, a software that can even make it easy for you to identify the vehicles and insurance companies when that vehicle is involved in an accident. There’s a short code *920*27#.

“If you send the vehicle’s license plate number to this particular and follow the prompt it will give you details of the vehicle and the insurance company involved,” he said.

“Even if it is a hit and run accident, once you’re able to capture the vehicle’s license plate and you send it to this shortcode, you should be able to identify the insurance company involved, and you can send a notice of claim to the insurance company notifying the insurance company that their vehicle has been involved in an accident giving the location, the date and time of the accident and that you want to pursue a claim,” he added.