The Kenya Human Rights Commission, has moved to court to challenge the recent increase in motor vehicle insurance premiums by up to 50% starting this year.
The body has accused the Insurance regulatory authority of acting illegally by increasing premiums and blocking up vehicles that are 12 years older from comprehensive cover.
This comes a few days after insurance firms announced to their customers and business partners that, they will increase their premium rates by 50%.
KHRC wants the courts to issue conservatory orders suspending the increase of premiums as well as the decision to exclude motor vehicles that are more than 12 years old or valued at less than Ksh.600,000 from comprehensive cover.
KHRC, further argues that insurance is a mandatory requirement vehicles should have, and making such a move is unfair, illegal, and violates consumer rights.
“Unless the Honourable Court intervenes and halts the changes, consumers will continue to greatly suffer from the said acts of corporate impunity,” KHRC adds.
Normally, premiums for the comprehensive cover are tabulated using a definite formula of four percent of the value of the motor vehicle, hence any amount above this has to be justified and has to involve consumers.
KHRC lawyer Kelly Malenya, in court papers, says“Considering the mandatory nature of motor vehicle insurance, then the said service has to be offered in a manner that protects consumers’ health, safety, and economic interests,”
The lobby wants the court to suspend the new charges and direct insurers to continue issuing comprehensive covers to all motorists.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority is listed as the respondent in the case and the Association of Kenya Insurers as the interested party.