Bahrain: Move for insurers to handle minor traffic accidents seen as a pioneering step
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Jul 2021
The government’s plan to entrust investigations of minor traffic accidents to insurers is the first of its kind in the region and its implementation is a pioneering step for Bahrain, said Bahrain Insurance Association chairman Jawad Mohammed. The move is scheduled to take effect from 21 July.
Under the new procedure, insurance companies have to set up a mechanism approved by the General Traffic Department (GTD). Parties to the accident shall remove the vehicles from the road if these impede or disrupt traffic or endanger lives. The parties involved may photograph the affected vehicles for damage assessment by insurers.
Mr Mohammed said the new system will have wide positive repercussions for traffic and its flow, as well as the speed and quality of services. It will enhance cooperation between insurance companies and the GTD, which currently handles all traffic accidents. The insurers will handle such accidents without referring to the GTD.
Separately, referring to the Vehicle Accidents Compensation Fund, which was established in 2014, and on whose board he is a member, Mr Mohammed said the fund aims to cover damages resulting from vehicle accidents in four main situations, which are:
- the vehicle that causes the accident is uninsured;
- failure to confirm the registration of the vehicle causing the accident;
- bankruptcy of the party which caused the accident; and
- there is no other party that is liable to pay compensation in accordance with applicable laws.
Operating the fund is part of international best practices, which enhance the role of the insurance sector in protecting members of society by providing appropriate compensation to those who have been affected by vehicle accidents and are unable to obtain compensation for reasons beyond their control. M