Government should seek to have amended archaic insurance legislation governing third party liability limits

Dear Editor,

Insurance is the cornerstone for the development of any country. As a country and its people develops, its populace acquires more and more items of property hence creating the need for protection against its everyday use. Insurance fills that void and provides the comfort and confidence to the public that the assets and liabilities of the public are adequately protected and will make good the Insureds for death, injuries, losses or damages that may arise from time to time. This confidence garnered through the insurance mechanism promotes trade, industry and commerce in our society and fosters development. As such, the insurance industry needs to be closely guarded and regulated.

Over the years, my firm, along with at least another insurance broker, is on record as having made several calls and pleas to the government and its legislature to introduce reasonable amendments to the archaic legislation governing third party limits of liability and other related issues. They have all fallen on deaf ears. Our roadways continue to be a place of tremendous grief and sorrow for the entire country, and more particularly, those persons who have lost their loved ones through recklessness on our roadways.

The previous government had turned a blind eye to these growing calls to address this burning issue as the families of those departed souls have been left with just their grief and memories from these wanton accidents on our roadways. Our roadways continue to suffer from poor policing and contain numerous hazards coupled with the outdated traffic laws which just mandate a pittance payable to the estates of those injured or dying from such accidents. This is a matter that needs urgent attention by this new administration to bring some semblance of order and fair play into the operations of our roadways.

Whilst we are at this, I would now venture to extend this evaluation to include loss of lives on our waterways also, since there has been a marked increase in the frequency of serious accidents on our waterways in the past few years. We need to have and implement rigid and strict regulations to govern the use of our roadways and waterways and maybe even our airspace.

On another related issue, the entire insurance industry, historically, had met in the boardroom of the Bank of Guyana in January 2012 to deliberate on some pertinent amendments to the Insurance Act of 1998. These sessions had a Canadian facilitator and the entire insurance industry had some very fruitful and cordial discussions/debates and had agreed on the way forward for this Act and its implementation. It should be noted that this Act does not deal with any aspect of the traffic laws and issues mentioned above, but mainly provides for the regulation of the general insurance industry in its operations. I am advised that this amended Act is languishing somewhere in the Ministry of Legal Affairs for the past few years and I would like to call on the current Minister of Legal Affairs to lead this process through its final stages of enactment.

Yours faithfully

Raj Singh

CEO

Raj Singh Insurance Brokers

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