A fatal road accident every 3.7 minutes in India

The general apathy in India is appalling. Road accidents aren’t perceived as a priority and not only can you lay in pain and have no one help you to hospital, chances are insurance company’s too will take the slow lane when it comes to disbursement.

India auto industryInternational Road Federation (IRF) India Chapter and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is organising a ‚ÄúRole of Insurance Sector in Road Safety‚ÄĚ seminar on July 12.Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari will discuss role of motor Insurance companies as stakeholders in Road Safety including accident prevention and road causality compensation.

80% road deaths worldwide are an occurence in low income countries. And sadly, India leads the world in road accident deaths. About 1,50,000 people die on the road each year. This implies a fatal accident every 3.7 minutes, which results in 16 deaths each hour and, 390 every day. 40% of accidents are of two wheelers by trucks. A reality this negative results in 2% GDP loss in India each year as road accident fatalities oftentimes snatch away the sole bread earner in a family.

Road safety capability is only just being developed in India, and prevention is key. Some responsibility lies with motor and personal injury insurance sector when it comes to reducing number of casualties and crashes.

The seminar will discuss existing and potential influence of auto insurance industry, safe driving promotion, discouraging unsafe driving, funding for road safety activities, and fair and timely compensation. Insurance compliance is a matter of concern, and compliance in a few low income countries varies from 10-80%.

India has made provisions for third party motor injuries coverage, but motor insurance compliance is often low and/or limited. Few of those affected recieve compensation and many are unaware of their rights. Insurance companies focus on vehicle damage rather than casualty reduction, and the poor benefit in no way.