Council partners with NRSC to campaign on Third Party Insurance

04/05/2010 15:30

The Consumer Council of Fiji has formed partnership with the National Road Safety Council in educating school students in the Western Division on consumer rights and responsibilities which also includes sessions on Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTPI).

CTPI campaign Who Pays, Who Profits, Who loses was launched by the Council last year in November in a bid to highlight problems on CTPI laws and seek a fair and just deal for CTPI consumers and accident victims. The Campaign, which will run for a year has gained huge momentum.  To date, the Council has received 18 complaints on CTPI and issued 8 formal advices.

Third Party Policies do not fairly compensate accident victims despite the law declaring it compulsory. Our findings reveal that many accident victims and even CTPI clients are not receiving fair redress and compensation due to exclusion clauses, legal costs and limitations by the law or ignorance.

Most of the accident victims the Consumer Council had interviewed knew very little or nothing at all on what Third Party Insurance was. The Council’s campaign on Third Party Insurance is to draw the attention of the policy makers, victims and vehicle owners on an insurance cover that is compulsory but of no benefit to state or the consumers. Unreasonable exclusion clause has left the grieving family or the accident victim to become government’s responsibility or their families while insurance companies get away with it.

There are irregularities or limitations in the payouts as it is left entirely on the industry to make the decision. Often the accident victims (or the deceased’s family) are left wondering if justice is indeed served under the current systems, policies and laws. The objective of this campaign is to make the Third Party Insurance policies beneficial to all parties.

The joint venture with NSRC has been a mutual initiative from both organisations in the belief that school students would benefit greatly from such educational programmes especially with increasing road accidents and fatality resulting from this. To date the joint venture with NSRC has covered five schools with 923 students in total.

School visits is part of Council’s effort to reach out to consumers in schools and educate them on their consumer rights and responsibilities. Our experiences show that often consumers are unable to access Council’s services due to transportation costs as well as time constraints, which is why the Council has devised programmes such as school visits to reach out to consumers in their own communities and schools.

The Council and NSRC will conducted more school visits in second term.