The local parlance, ‘Police-Let-Me-Pass’ is the term used in Nigeria to denote Third Party Motor Insurance Policy. This mandatory form of insurance remains the most enforced out of all the compulsory insurances.
Year after year, motorists renew their vehicle particulars to be on the right of the law. Some people have formed the habit of renewing all their vehicle papers including their vehicle insurances at the licensing office. This habit is not a bad one but surprisingly it might turn out to be, this is because some licensing agents embark on shady deals regarding motor insurance covers. If care is not taken you might get fake insurance papers, so exercise caution when dealing with them. We shall be talking about How To Confirm The Authenticity Of Your Insurance Certificate in our subsequent posts. Watch out!
It is important to note that your Third Party Motor Insurance is more than ‘Police-Let-Me-Pass.’ It will save you a whole lot of heartache and might cause you a tremendous heartbreak if absent. It might seem so insignificant, but there is more to it than you think. This post is written to enlighten you more about your Third Party Motor Insurance.
There are three basic motor insurance covers and these include:
- Comprehensive Motor Policy
- Third Party, Fire & Theft Motor Policy
- Third Party Only Motor Policy
Out of the three, the last one is the minimum insurance required by law for every vehicle owner – which is the focus of this post.
What Is Third Party Motor Insurance?
Third Party Motor Insurance is one of the five compulsory insurances in the country, made mandatory by the Insurance Act 0f 2003. To know more about Compulsory Insurance in the country please read, Compulsory Insurance In Nigeria: What You Must Know?
Third Party Motor Insurance is the minimum insurance cover that every car user and/or owner must possess. Legally, you are not expected to drive any vehicle on any public road without insurance. The policy provides indemnity to Third Parties for death, bodily injury and property damage as a result of accident with the insured’s automobile. The insured in this case if the vehicle owner.
Third Party Motor Insurance in Nigeria has its legal backing in Section 68 of the Insurance Act of 2003. The Act states that: “No person shall use or cause or permit any other person to use a motor vehicle on a road unless a liability which he may thereby incur in respect of damage to the property of third parties is insured with an insurer.”
Under this Act, the penalty for non-compliance of any motorist or driver is N250,000 or one-year imprisonment or both. Note that compliance with this act is total i.e. after purchase it must be renewed at expiry every year. An expired/unrenewed insurance is like no insurance.
Have you seen: Compulsory Insurance in Nigeria: What you Must Know
What is the fate of a person who was hit by a vehicle that does not have insurance or a hit-and-run driver?
Now, a Third Party who got hit by an uninsured vehicle or a hit and run is protected by the National Insurance Act 2003. The protection is provided by Section 78 of the Act. The Act made it mandatory for all registered insurers to make contributions to a security fund administered by the National Insurance Commission. Section 78 (1)(a)(b) states that;
“The fund is to:
- Be used for the payment of any claim admitted by or allowed against a registered insurer where such claim remains unpaid by reason of insolvency or cancellation of the registration of the insurer; and
- Be used to compensate innocent individual third parties permanently disabled or killed by uninsured or unidentified drivers.”
The National Insurance Commission determines the level of the fund and proportion of compensation paid in respect of any claim.
What and Who Is Covered?
As mentioned in the definition, this policy covers:
- Your legal liability to third parties for death or injury to such and any damage to their property or properties from the use of your motor vehicle. The limits of liability is as follows:
- Death/Injury – Liability payable is unlimited (depends on the court’s ruling)
- Third Party Property Damage – Liability payable is a minimum of N1m
- Your lawyer’s fees for your legal representation or your driver’s at any judicial proceeding arising from an accident which may give rise to a claim under the policy and any other expenses.
Exclusions – What and Who is not Covered?
Under this policy, you should be aware that this policy does not cover you or your vehicle. Like the name implies, it covers only third parties. Under the Act, a Third Party is someone other than you, your relatives or employees. In a contract of insurance, you are the first party, your insurer is the second party and any other person beside you and those mentioned earlier is the Third Party.
If you need a motor insurance that covers you and your vehicle, then go for a Comprehensive Motor Insurance. More on this in our subsequent post: What Should I Buy: Third Party Motor Insurance vs. Comprehensive Motor Insurance.
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