Faced with the increasing reluctance by insurance companies to cover them, the behaviour of privately owned public service vehicle operators [PSVs] will come under electronic surveillance from next Monday.
The Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) and Sagicor General Insurance (SGI) this morning launched a landmark initiative to provide a joint low premium insurance platform for PSVs, which would place operators under strict technological monitoring.
“PSVs will be monitored using criteria that our research has identified as indicative of driving behaviour. This includes variables such as speeding, harsh braking and cornering,” Sagicor General’s Chief Executive Officer David Alleyne told the launch at its Wildey, St Michael office.
Alleyne added that the virtual barrier geofence would be used to identify vehicles that go off route.
He added that sensors might also be installed to ensure doors are closed before the vehicle moves off.
“Through this initiative, both ICBL and SGI will also encourage the public’s participation in monitoring and controlling driver behaviour by the use of a hotline which will be emblazoned on every vehicle insured under this joint arrangement,” Alleyne told stakeholders that included Chief Licensing Officer Virgil Knight, Director of Transport with the Transport Authority Alex Linton and Interim Chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators Morris Lee.
The fight against bad behaviour will include a public element, with members of the public being urged to send photographs via the sharing application, WhatsApp to a given phone number.
Alleyne said his firm, in association with a local company, Easy Track, would monitor drivers.
ICBL Deputy Chief Executive Officer Goulbourne Alleyne underlined the concerns that forced the two companies to introduce this initiative, including negative public perception due to the frequent incidents of “risky and horrendous” acts performed on the road by some drivers.
“Such behaviour has not only led to several incidents of unnecessary accidents, injury and in some cases death, but has also led to players in the insurance industry taking increased measures to limit their exposure to such risks.
“Through the use of ICBL’s substantial and effective underwriting knowledge and experience, in conjunction with Sagicor’s telematic monitoring device, DrivePal, we have developed a framework that will allow PSV owners to obtain the necessary insurance coverage to operate within the local transportation system,” the ICBL executive explained.
He said the most important aspect of this framework was that it should result in the improvement in the public’s perception of these ZR and minibus operators.
“As it relates to ICBL’s experience with underwriting this class of insurance, I will say here that ICBL is the leader in risk mitigation. Through extreme risk selection, along with sanctions including driver exclusions, policy suspension and policy cancelations, we have been able to keep policyholders in check,” added the top insurance executive. Alleyne also said that following a recent meeting with the leaders of the two PSV organizations, there has been heightened interest by operators to sign onto the new insurance policy. However, he warned that those with multiple convictions would be excluded.