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Insurers link petrol tanker disasters to weak insurance cover

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…Third party insurance is inadequate — Operators

By Rosemary Onuoha

Industry operators have linked the rising incidences of petroleum tanker accidents to the near absence of insurance services in that unit of the transport sector.

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Operators who spoke to Vanguard over the recent incidents in Onitsha and Enugu argue that if the insurance industry is a lot more involved, they will force the transporters to pay adequate attention to the condition of their vehicles and the quality of the drivers, which will go a long way in minimising the frequency of such accidents.

They also said insurers’ involvement would bring succor to those adversely affected by the incidences.

Speaking to Vanguard, Deputy Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer, COO, African Reinsurance Corporation, Africa Re, Mr. Ken Aghoghovbia, said: “When it comes to providing compensation for such exposures, the owners of the tankers have to be indemnified so that they can continue productive services. The persons or other assets that have been damaged or destroyed also need indemnification. All these are within the purview of the insurance companies.

“The insurance companies can be a lot more involved when the government insists that the vehicles must have insurance policies. If the vehicles have policies, the insurance industry will show more interest in the condition of the vehicles. The insurers will place more emphasis on the experience as well as loss history of the drivers.

“However, if after all that there are accidents, then we can be sure that the vehicles will be repaired or replaced quickly so that the service will continue to be carried out. The damage to third parties, vehicles or other assets would be taken care of by the insurers and loss of lives will also be addressed by the insurers. So everybody would be taken care of as quickly as possible.”

Also speaking, immediate past President of Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON), Engr. Jacob Adeosun, tasked the Federal Government to take a bold risk management initiative to decisively deal with the ugly trend that has not received adequate mitigating attention.

According to Adeosun, many of the victims would never recover from the colossal losses in the absence of any viable and effective compensation scheme.

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He said: “The Federal Government should initiate a new recovery or compensation empowerment of innocent victims of petrol tanker fires and explosions through insurance or any other system. The existing compulsory third party motor insurance is totally unrealistic for the scale of the destruction visited on victims by these incidents. “Government should undertake the design of a new responsive insurance solution, sinking fund or other viable alternative that will provide adequate care, recovery and restoration of innocent victims of petroleum products tanker disasters in Nigeria,” Adeosun stated.


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