Transport operators declare nationwide strike over new insurance premium

Road transporter owners have declared a nationwide strike next Monday to protest against a 500% increase in insurance premiums deemed outrageous.

At a press conference Tuesday, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council said their commercial drivers will not work if the decision is not reversed.

In June 2015, the National Insurance Commission had attempted to shoot up premiums by 800% sparking outrage from motorists.

After negotiations, insurance premiums were pegged between 240% to 260%, the operators said.

It was also agreed the implementation of the increase will be gradual.

But the drivers say they were shocked to learn, third party insurance has skyrocketed to 500%. The transport owners say this a “needless act of bad faith”.

The road transport owners also are incensed that compensation package for paying a 500% premium is GHC2,000. They say even at the agreed 240-260% increase in premium, the compensation was pegged at GHC1,000.

For the drivers, GHC2,000 for 500% increase in premiums is a rip-off..

Insurance premiums have become a contentious issue for the industry regulator, National Insurance Commission. The Commission says premiums were last increase more than five years ago. They explain the marked depreciation in the Ghana Cedi is hurting their ability to pay claims.

Hence in June 2015, the NIC announced that annual premium for the least motor insurance policy — third party insurance – was to shot up from GH¢70 to GH¢471 for private cars. The same insurance for commercial taxis were priced at GH¢576 per annum.

Third party premium for mini-buses commonly called ‘Trotro’ has also been set at GHC586 with motorcycles required to pay GH¢256 for an insurance.

Clients resisted the move and drivers threatened to form their own insurance company. They have once again repeated their threat.

Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com


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