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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 8 September 2014

FAKE INSURANCE STICKERS IN MACHAKOS ENDANGERING PSV PASSENGERS



It is emerging that many commuters in Machakos town may be unknowingly traveling in uninsured public service vehicles.
Here, furious motor cyclists popularly known as boda boda are up in arms against some insurance brokers for selling fake insurance stickers.

The stickers have flooded Machakos town and it environs and there is fear that the cyclists may lose a lot of money.
Commuters have urged the governing body to embark on a nationwide exercise to fish out fake insurance brokers.

Investigation by Weekly Citizen reveals that the insurance companies have transferred the cost of their inability to be innovative to motorists.
The pay-as-you-drive insurance product could be an ideal cover for motorists, who do not use their vehicles every day yet they pay a comprehensive cover that has a daily cost whether one uses their vehicle or not.

Recently, Machakos police top brass warned motorists to be vigilant when purchasing insurance certificates for their vehicles due to a rising number of fake stickers on sale.
Some of the insurance companies and fake insurance brokers fail to understand the role of Association of Kenya Insurers which is a members’ association for the insurance companies in Kenya.

Some of the victims want the police and the insurance sector to stop these scams perpetuated at motorists’ expense.
“In fact, we came to realise that some of our colleagues have been suffering without knowledge,” a victim told this paper.

The recently launched insurance fraud investigations police unit increasingly unearthed use of fake stickers in this sector.
Investigation shows that traffic officers and the Kenya Association of Insurance are jointly investigating the source of the fake stickers and forged insurance certificates.

Traffic police have since warned motorists to be vigilant when purchasing insurance certificates for their vehicles due to a rising number of fake stickers on sale.
The officers across the city are under firm instructions to scrutinise insurance stickers displayed on vehicles to identify the fake ones.

The Association of Kenya Insurers has already alerted them of thousands of motorists who were using fake insurance certificates sold to them by unscrupulous brokers.
 According to AKI, insurance fraud leads to increase in the cost premiums and this has limited the number of people who can afford insurance.

The main intention is to have as many Kenyans as possible afford insurance but it is also a threat to the existence of insurance companies.
Insurance fraud is so high such that there are some people who have made a career out of stealing from insurance companies.

It is estimated that 40pc of all claims paid by insurance companies in Kenya are fraudulent.
The collapse of more 10 insurance companies in Kenya in the recent past is also attributed to fraudulent claims.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority said the country should have specific laws that penalise insurance related crimes.
The Kenya Police Anti-Fraud Insurance Unit was formed last year in response to the escalating cases of fraud in the insurance industry.
So far, the unit has been able to unearth a racket involving fake insurance stickers for public service vehicles.