A specially designed insurance policy, aimed at covering both Boda boda riders and their passengers, has been introduced in Uganda. This insurance plan offers protection for accidents, injuries, and unexpected events, including medical costs, hospitalization benefits, personal accident coverage, and the well-being of those insured.
In Uganda, Boda boda (motorcycle taxis) is a commonly used mode of public transportation known for its high risks. According to data from the Traffic Police Directorate, there have been approximately 37,000 Bodaboda accidents reported since June. In 2022 alone, Bodaboda accidents led to 4,534 fatalities out of 20,394 documented incidents. Godwin Arinaitwe, the Traffic commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, stressed the importance of this new insurance initiative.
Many victims of Bodaboda accidents are everyday individuals who often struggle to cover their medical expenses. This new insurance policy complements the legally required motor third-party insurance. Arinaitwe pointed out that numerous Bodaboda riders do not fulfill this legal obligation.
Arinaitwe clarified, “To all Bodaboda riders, it’s crucial to understand that insurance is in your best interest. We consistently encourage you to obtain motor third-party insurance, which is a legal obligation. When public transporters fail to have third-party insurance, it places passengers at a higher risk. We anticipate that this new policy will provide reassurance and safety for those using this mode of transportation.”
This insurance policy is offered in partnership with Stanbic Bank Assurance through the Safe Boda transport company, provided by Liberty Insurance Company. It is automatically applied to any Safe Boda trip when a passenger requests one. Since June 5th, it has been used for approximately 80,000 trips. Under this policy, passengers who order a Safe Boda Plus trip are automatically insured, with coverage of up to 2.5 million shillings in the event of an incident.
Riders also have access to this coverage but are required to pay a monthly subscription fee of 6,000 shillings, deducted from their daily earnings. Christian Wamambe, the Vice President for Payments, Financial Services, and Driver Well-being at Safe Boda, reported that they have processed 22 claims, with 6 million shillings paid out so far.
No passenger claims have been filed, as the medical expenses of claimants have been settled. In addition, drivers receive daily welfare support of up to 100,000 shillings for a maximum of fifteen days in case of an incident.
Claiming benefits under this policy is a straightforward process and only requires a call to alert Safe Boda about the incident, according to Wamambe. Their systems can verify the individuals involved in the incident based on phone numbers and other records.
Sadat Juuko, one of the 22 beneficiaries, shared his experience, stating that after an accident that fractured his right leg, he contacted Safe Boda. They instructed him to seek treatment, and they would reimburse all the expenses he incurred, provided he provided proof of expenditure. Juuko submitted receipts for all his expenses and received reimbursement within two weeks.