Sultanate sets up fund to aid accident victims

MUSCAT, Jan 14 – As part of the Motor Vehicle Law, a fund to provide financial assistance to road accident victims who are otherwise not eligible has been set up in the Sultanate. The Guarantee Fund, established by the Capital Market Authority (CMA), is aimed at mitigating the hardships faced by accident victims denied insurance coverage mainly due to the failure to establish the identity of the vehicle and its driver involved. “The fund will now close the last gaps in the insurance law and save road accident victims from those hardships against which they are least able to protect themselves,” said an official at the CMA.

With the establishment of the fund, those injured in accidents like hit- and-run by unknown persons or unidentified vehicles, will be able to get financial assistance for the physical damage they have suffered. The decision to set up the fund will be effective within 90 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette. According to the official, a committee under the supervision of the market regulator will receive, manage and settle the claims of the victims. Funds for the purpose are expected to be generated in cooperation with insurance companies operating in the Sultanate and motor insurance policy-holders.

“A percentage amount will be raised from each motor insurance policy and transferred to the fund,” the official added. While clarifying that the fund is not an insurance cover, the official said its formation was already decreed by a Royal directive. In the so-called cases of hit-and-run driving, to avoid any excessive or even abusive use of the fund, material damage caused to motor vehicles is compensated for only if considerable bodily injury has been caused at the same time. The committee will scrutinise the applications and if any mischief is detected, the person concerned will be charged with cases of fraud and legal proceedings initiated against the guilty.

SAMUEL KUTTY