Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori, has called on motor insurance companies in the country to collaborate with the Ghana National Bureau to facilitate the speedy processing and settlement of claims under the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme by motorists.
The call by the Commissioner of Insurance is in recognition of the challenges associated with the prompt payment of compensation to road accident victims within the ECOWAS sub-region.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Day held by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) on Monday, May 30, 2022, Dr. Ofori stated the NIC, as well as insurance regulators in the sub-region will collaborate to ensure that the bottlenecks within the insurance scheme are resolved.
“We recognise the challenges associated with the prompt and fair compensation to victims; and as regulators, we shall collaborate among ourselves to ensure that these and other bottlenecks within the scheme are addressed,” he averred.
“On my part, as the Commissioner of Insurance, I shall continue to work with the Ghana National Bureau to ensure that victims of cross-border motor accidents receive what is due them,” he added.
The Brown Card provides the motorist complete guarantee for a prompt, fair and immediate compensation for any accident he may cause outside his habitual residence country.
The cardholder is treated exactly as if the basic insurance policy was underwritten with a company located in the country visited or through which it transits.
Since the Brown Card is recognised by the government authorities, the motorist is exempted from any other formality relating to the guarantee against the risks of civil liability.
The objectives of the Brown Card include:
• To facilitate free movement for international motorists within the community.
• To enable international carriers to comply with motor vehicles insurance requirements in force in the community member-countries.
• To enhance the development of trade and tourism exchanges among states.
• To establish a common scheme for the settlement of claims arising from free movement of goods and persons within ECOWAS.
• To offer to ECOWAS insurance market the means to develop international links and exchanges.
The ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme was established by Protocol A/P1/5/82 signed by the head of states and governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on 29th May 1982 in Cotonou, People’s Republic of Benin. The main objective of the scheme is to ensure prompt and fair compensation to the victims of road accidents for the damages caused them by non-residing motorists travelling from other ECOWAS member-states to their country.
In Europe, Green Card is a similar scheme implemented in 1953.
The ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme operates through a 14 (fourteen) National Bureau network spread throughout the fourteen member-states.
Each National Bureau plays two (2) major roles:
• To ensure Brown Card availability for local motorists. National Bureau operates, therefore, as an issuing bureau.
• To conduct investigation and settle claims arising from an accident caused by motorist holders of Brown Card. It then acts as a handling bureau.