SAFETY

Boda boda insurance not beneficial- Riders

In Summary

• Currently, boda boda operators pay roughly Sh16,000 annually including Sh9,000 comprehensive cover for the motorcycle and Sh7,000 personal liability cover.

• Government has proposed all passenger-carrying boda bodas and tuk-tuks to have an insurance cover for passengers and pedestrians.

Boda boda operators.
Boda boda operators.
Image: FILE

Most boda boda riders say they do not see the sense in taking an insurance policy for passengers and pedestrians arguing they eventually have to cater for all damages in the occurrence of an accident.

Joseph Kinyanjui, a boda boda operator in the CBD said despite him already taking a policy for himself and his motorcycle, he only does it to avoid problems from law enforcers.

“I pay insurance but even when I get into an accident, at no one point has the insurance covered me or my boda boda. I have had to cater for my own expenses,” he said.

 

This was reiterated by Albert Masinde another motorcycle operator who said relying on insurance was detrimental for operators involved in accidents as it would take over a year to receive compensation.

Currently, boda boda operators pay roughly Sh16,000 annually including Sh9,000 comprehensive cover for the motorcycle and Sh7,000 personal liability cover.

According to the operators, this was already a huge dent in their finances seeing as it is money, they do not end up claiming.

“When you see a boda boda operator speeding past a traffic spot it is because they do not have insurance. Most operators do not see the value of taking an insurance cover,” Masinde said.

Stakeholders in the insurance industry however say that compulsory insurance is a step in the right direction, as it would spare boda boda operators from overspending in case of an accident.

BIMA intermediaries chairman Washington Ndegea told the Star, the cover would not cost more than an additional Sh500 annually, a far cry from what the riders have to part with when an accident occurs.

The Economic Survey 2019 shows traffic deaths increased by eight per cent to 3,153 in 2018, this while the registration of new motor vehicles increased from 91,071 units in 2017 to 102,036 units last year (12 per cent).

 

Data by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) shows that motorcycles retained the record as the highest rising cause of death on Kenyan roads.

According to the data,  in the year to November 2018, 511 motorcyclists were killed on various roads, a 17 per cent rise from the same period last year. The number of boda boda passengers killed over the review period increased by 8.3 per cent to 220.

During last Thursday’s budget statement, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich proposed to amend the Insurance (Motor Vehicle Third Party Risks) (Certificate of Insurance) Rules to require all passenger-carrying boda bodas and tuk-tuks to have an insurance cover for passengers and pedestrians.

This has since received backlash, the most recent being a move by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, two MPs and two former legislators who filed a case against the state over the proposal.

Sonko, in the suit filed on Monday, was accompanied by MPs Moses Kuria, Simon Mbugua, Kalembe Ndile, Reuben Ndolo and former MPs Stanley Livondo and Steven Bwire.

The politicians want the court to issue temporary order stopping implementation of the government proposal for third party insurance.

High Court judge John Mativo certified the case as urgent and directed that the parties be served with suit papers. The case will be heard on June 24.