Kampala, (UG): A specialized insurance policy tailored to cover both Boda boda riders and their passengers has been introduced to provide coverage for accidents, injuries, and unforeseen incidents, including medical expenses, hospitalization benefits, personal accident coverage, and the welfare of insured individuals.
Boda boda (motorcycle taxi) is a widely used but notably dangerous mode of public transportation in Uganda.
According to statistics from the Traffic Police Directorate, there have been up to 37,000 Bodaboda accidents recorded since June.
In 2022, Bodaboda accidents resulted in 4,534 deaths out of 20,394 recorded incidents. Godwin Arinaitwe, the Traffic commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, has emphasized the timeliness of this insurance intervention.
Many Bodaboda accident victims are ordinary people who often struggle with medical bills. This new insurance policy complements the statutory motor third-party insurance cover. Arinaitwe noted that many Bodaboda riders do not pay for this legal requirement.
Arinaitwe explained, “To the Bodaboda fraternity out there, you should know that insurance is for your benefit. We always urge you to pay for motor third-party insurance, which is a legal requirement. When public transporters fail to pay for third-party insurance, it puts passengers’ lives at a higher risk. We hope this new policy will provide comfort and safety to those using this mode of transportation.”
The policy is offered by Liberty Insurance Company in partnership with Stanbic Bank Assurance through the Safe Boda transport company. It is automatically applied to a Safe Boda trip when a passenger orders one. Since June 5th, it has attracted approximately 80,000 trips.
Under this policy, any passenger who orders a Safe Boda Plus trip is automatically insured, providing coverage of up to 2.5 million shillings in the event of an incident.
Riders also have access to this coverage but are required to pay a monthly subscription fee of 6,000 shillings, which is deducted from their daily commissions.
Christian Wamambe, the Vice President for Payments, Financial Services, and Driver Well-being at Safe Boda, reported that they have received 22 claims, with 6 million shillings paid out thus far.
No passenger claims have been registered, as the claimants’ medical bills have been settled. Additionally, drivers receive daily welfare support of up to 100,000 shillings for a maximum of fifteen days in case of an incident.
Claiming benefits under this policy is a straightforward process and only requires a call to alert Safe Boda about the incident, according to Wamambe. Their systems can verify the individuals involved in the incident based on phone numbers and other records.
Sadat Juuko, one of the 22 beneficiaries, shared his experience, stating that after an accident that fractured his right leg, he contacted Safe Boda. They instructed him to seek treatment, and they would reimburse all the expenses he incurred, provided he provided proof of expenditure.
Juuko submitted receipts for all his expenses and received reimbursement within two weeks.
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