MUSCAT: The Capital Market Authority (CMA), which regulates the insurance sector in the Sultanate of Oman, has shed new light on a special fund instituted by the Authority to support compensatory assistance to third party victims of traffic mishaps.
The ‘Guarantee Fund for Assistance of Bodily Injured Persons, Heirs of Deceased and Compensation For Physical Damage in Motor Vehicles Accidents’ was first unveiled in 2018 via an Executive Decision (E/3/2018) of the CMA and amended four years later via Decision (E/24/2022).
Shedding details about the salient features of the Guarantee Fund, the Authority recently explained that compensatory assistance to survivors suffering permanent disability is calculated as follows: ‘The percentage of permanent disability multiplied by RO 30,000’.
Not included in this payout is the following additional assistance: Ambulance costs (maximum limit of RO 400), Treatment costs (maximum limit of RO 5,000, Vehicle damage in the event of a total loss (50% at a maximum of RO 5000; and Vehicle damage in case of partial loss (50% at a maximum of RO 5000). In the event of death, the heirs of the deceased are entitled to ‘diya’ (blood money) per existing laws of Oman.
However, certain conditions must be met when seeking compensation from the Guarantee Fund, according to the regulator. Survivors can seek assistance if (i) they are involved in a ‘hit-and-run’ incident where the wrongdoer has not been identified, or (ii) the vehicle involved in the mishap does not have insurance coverage at the time.
Moreover, an application for compensation will be considered under the following specific circumstances: (i) In the event of the death of a third party victim of a vehicle crash, (ii) Costs of first aid and treatment rendered to the survivor amount to at least RO 500, (iii) Applicant suffers permanent disability, and (iv) Damage to third party’s vehicle is at least RO 500.
According to the CMA, requests for compensatory assistance from the Fund will be considered only if the application is received within two years from the date of the accident. Claims against damaged vehicles will be accepted within six months of the accident.
For its part, the CMA as regulator of the Fund, says it will exercise its prerogative to recover any payout if its legitimate rights have been breached. For example, a full refund will be sought if foul play is found to be involved, or if the applicant has received compensation from the owner or driver of the vehicle involved in the crash. Likewise, recovery measures may be initiated if it is found belatedly that a valid insurance policy covering these payouts was in existence at the time.
Significantly, several types of mishaps are ineligible for compensation, according to the Authority. They include cases where the driver of the offending vehicle (or any of his family members) is hurt.
Similarly, vehicles owned by the government, corporate organization and institution, are not entitled to compensation from the Fund. Damage to other objects or property at the scene of a crash is also not covered by the Fund. So is damage to a vehicle involved in a crash with an animal or attempting to avert such a crash.