Commercial drivers in the country are threatening to form their own insurance companies following an 800 per cent hikes in third party insurance.
Chairman of the Ghana Road Transport and Coordinating Council (GTRCC) Alhaji Aliu Baba has described the hikes as "barbaric" saying it is entirely possible for drivers to come together to form their own insurance company.
Motor insurance companies on Monday met to agree a hefty 800% increase in premiums for motor insurance.The new increases are expected to take effect tomorrow. With the increases, a driver who pays 70 cedis for premium a year will now have to pay over 400 cedis for the same period.
The hikes have sent drivers angry but the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Insurers Association, Atsu Enyawovor, said the hikes were legitimate and realistic.
According to him, the premiums have been low for far too long, adding even road tolls, booking fees paid by drivers were going up.
He said when the premiums paid per year for a 33 seater-vehicle travelling from Accra to Kumasi is divided per day, the total premium is negligible.
With the new hikes he said drivers may be paying ¢1.30 per day. How does that affect transport fares? he asked.
He said those complaining about the hikes are the ones who drive recklessly and cause needless accidents in the country for insurance companies to pay huge claims to clients.
Atsu Enyawovor, said the hike in premiums has also increased their capacity to adequately compensate victims in an event of accidents.
He said they have set a new baseline which will regulate future increases in insurance premiums.
But the GTRCC is angry with the new policy. Alhaji Aliu Baba said the new hike is not only insensitive but smacks of disrespect to the drivers.
He said they were not consulted by the insurance company.
"We are very much surprised at the Insurance Commission and the Insurance Commission. It is too barbaric to tell somebody you are increasing his premium by 800 per cent," he protested.
He said they are agreed at a meeting in 2010 that before an increase is imposed there must be thorough consultation amongst all stakeholders but that was not done.
He said at the time where DVLA is asking for seatbelts in the car which is costing every driver; [they have adjusted] road worthiness then you come and say you are increasing it by 800 per cent.
"I am calling on all drivers in the country nobody will pay. We will also establish our own insurance company," he threatened.
He said all drivers will be meeting in the coming days to form their own insurance companies.