Bahrain: Insurers prepare themselves to assume new role in investigating minor motor accidents
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Mar 2021
The Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA) is currently working with insurance companies, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the General Traffic Department to prepare for the implementation of a recent decision of the Minister of the Interior to entrust the investigation of minor traffic accidents to insurance companies, according to BIA chairman Yahya Noourddin.
Insurers will adopt their new function from 21 July this year.
Mr Noourddin said in an interview that the decision was made following coordination between the General Directorate of Traffic, the CBB and the insurance association as the representative of insurance companies.
The aim is to clear the streets of Bahrain of vehicles that have met with minor accidents so that they do not affect the flow of traffic, in addition to easing the burden on the traffic police who are facing an increased workload in regulating traffic.
The preparatory process includes intensive training courses to qualify teams in insurance companies to be experts in inspecting vehicles involved in traffic accidents, probing the causes of accidents and determining responsibility, Mr Noourddin said. An awareness and information campaign will also be carried out shortly to educate the community in this regard.
The preparations also include laying down procedures, both electronically and manually, for the parties involved in a motor accident who agree on the culprit causing the accident. The parties must take photographs of their damaged vehicles and fill out forms to report on the accident and to lodge insurance claims. Other matters to be settled include appointing companies to tow away vehicles that have been involved in an accident.
Previously, the party who caused the accident bore the costs of towing, but in the new situation, insurers will pay the towage fees so as to ensure that damaged vehicles are removed from the streets as soon as possible to avoid blocking traffic.
The plan for insurers to investigate minor traffic accidents is considered a significant leap, and Bahrain is the first country in the region to implement such a measure. M