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New Law for Riders Over Increased Accidents

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has proposed changes to the motor vehicle insurance laws that will make it illegal for boda bodas to operate without covers for their passengers.

IRA stated that boda bodas have been the cause of rising number of accidents that have left many injured and unable to foot heavy medical bills.

The insurance regulator is urging Parliament to pass laws that will make it necessary for passengers and pedestrians to be covered if boda bodas are involved in accidents.

According to the IRA, three-wheelers (tuk tuk operators) will also be forced to have third-party insurance covers to protect their passengers and pedestrians in case of an accident.

IRA Chief Executive Officer, Godfrey Kiptum, explained that although three-wheelers used for social, domestic and leisure purposes are required to have insurance cover the law does not compel boda boda operators to take up insurance policies.

“There is no legal requirement for the operators to take up insurance policies as boda bodas and tuk tuks are not indicated in the category of motor vehicles used by fare-paying passengers,” IRA's statement read in part.

“This leaves room for speculation as to whether they ought to take insurance cover or not. The law, however, provides for insurance cover for motorcycles and motorised three-wheelers used for social, domestic and leisure purposes.”

Insurers’ lobby, Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), supported the proposals by IRA, holding that they will encourage millions of Kenyans who use boda bodas and tuk tuks.

AKI stated that boda bodas cause a lot of accidents and the victims do not receive assistance for medical bills and neither are they compensated even in situations where some of the victims are no longer capable of making a living.

“We need to protect Kenyans. When you jump onto that boda boda, you need to be sure that the least it has is a third-party cover. Boda bodas knock people dead and injure others. These people need to be compensated,” AKI CEO, Tom Gachupin, stated.

In 2019, Parliament rejected the Treasury’s push for compulsory third-party insurance cover for boda bodas and tuk-tuks.

The National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation annulled the proposed laws citing lack of public participation. The team stated that the regulations contravened Articles 10 and 118 of the Constitution which gives credence to public participation.

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Godfrey Kiptum IRA Insurance Regulatory Authority

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