The number of uninsured vehicles on Barbados’ roads is on the rise and it has become a big headache for insurance companies.
Top industry officials say companies are also having challenges negotiating claims because too many vehicles are either not insured, or drivers do not have their insurance documents or licences with them, particularly at the scenes of accidents.
These were some of the major concerns expressed this afternoon by leaders of the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) during a Press conference at their Roebuck Street headquarters.
The situation has reached such a troubling stage that chairman of the GIAB’s Public Relations Committee, Anton Lovell, is proposing that the police impound vehicles or place them in a holding facility when drivers cannot present their insurance papers on the scene of accidents.
“We believe that, especially [with] the plastic licence now being issued to drivers, every driver should have their drivers’ licence with them and in the motor car itself and should have the certificate of insurance or cover note,” Lovell suggested.
“We are finding too many occasions where, after an accident, these documents are not produced and when the insurance company goes and investigates these situations, persons don’t have a licence or the vehicle that was in the accident stopped by the police doesn’t have insurance,” he lamented.
Lovell and the GIAB president Michael Holder disclosed that there has also been an increase in people not renewing their vehicle insurance, reducing their cover, or not paying at all.
“We are seeing an increase [in non-renewals] . . . Are some of these clients cancelling at one company and going to another company? Is it that they are cancelling and taking the car off the road, or is it that they are cancelling and taking a chance in driving without insurance?” said Holder, as he suggested there may be a need to increase fines for persons driving without insurance cover.
Lovell said another problem was that some people who do not have insurance flee the scene after being involved in an accident.
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