THE Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) has established an insurance checkpoint at the Dar es Salaam Port to verify motor insurance for in-transit vehicles. TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Mussa Juma said although the law requires the authority to regulate the insurance sector, they also found it necessary to make sure that customers are protected against unrecognized insurances.
“To begin with, this checkpoint will verify insurance of in-transit vehicles before leaving any gate and this means that they are required to apply for their insurance within Dar es Salaam Port premises,” he said at the launching event held at Dar es Salaam Port. He added: “It is illegal for a vehicle to travel while uninsured on Tanzanian land, and there is no alternative to the legal requirements.”
Dr Juma supplemented that the insurance Act No. 10 of 2009, sections 6 and 11 authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to inspect, control and supervise Insurance activities in the country, the motor vehicle insurance Act of 1961, Section 4 (1), stipulates that a legal offense for anyone to use motor vehicle insurance on the road without having insurance. The Commissioner said the insurance market was free, so motorists were free to choose any insurance company, insurance broker or any insurance agent through TIRA MIS, a portal that manages motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes.
TIRA MIS launched in April, this year enables stakeholders to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line or by sending a quick message to 15200 with a word sticker followed by motor insurance sticker number. The system keeps insurance data, allows submission of complaints and complete elimination of paper stickers instead of using electronic stickers, provides quick and quality services and other industry supervision parameters.
According to TIRA, the checkpoint was launched after a survey conducted in January this year to verify insurance on in-transit vehicles that discovered some of them used fake insurance. Dar es Salaam Port Director, Elihuruma Lema said the checkpoint would build trust for their port pledging to collaborate with TIRA to make sure it increases efficiency. “Our goal is to clear 800-1,200 vehicles per day, the fact that this initiative is at infancy stage, means we are likely to meet unforeseen issues beyond our control and for this we will work with TIRA to make sure our efficiency is not affected,” he said.
On his part, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Adam Maro said the checkpoint would help them to find problems before they occur. “This will help protect Tanzanians who may be affected by accidents caused by IT vehicles, so if they have fake insurance it becomes difficult for victims to get their dues,” he said Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) Executive Chancellor Mr Celestine Mzava urged members of the association to be faithful and collaborate with Dar Port and TIRA to make sure that any challenges arising from the initiative are solved.
“We commend these efforts to control those few unfaithful insurance agents. This checkpoint will ensure that cars are insured with valid insurance and keeps them safe when they are on the roads,” he said. Association of Tanzania Insurers (ATI) Technical Manager Mr Athanas Kikuji said the goal of insurance companies is to ensure that everyone gets legitimate insurance so that when problems arise the insurance aims are met.