After a decade of individual management of the acquired sovereignties in the 60s, the African Heads of State and Government have decided to group into regions to be able to sustain their achievements and open up avenues for the development of their respective countries.
Thus, several community groupings have come to life including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Head of States and Governments, in their move to ensure that the community road users are safe, have established a scheme for automatic cover and claims settlement in order to foster free movement of persons and goods as per the provisions of Articles 32, 33 and 34 (transport, communication and Tourism) of the Community Treaty on roads and motor vehicles within ECOWAS region.
To facilitate free movement for international motorists within the community
To enable international carriers to comply with motor vehicles insurance requirements in force in the community member countries,
To enhance the development of trade and tourism exchanges among states
To establish a common scheme for the settlement of claims arising from free movement of goods and persons within ECOWAS;
Based on what is said above, it appears that motorists have a psychological freedom which sets them free from fears that may assail them in case of accident in a country different from their country of residence. In other words, motorists can now move freer within the sub-region.
Thus, first of all, holding a brown card provides full cover to motorist for a prompt, fair and immediate settlement for accident that they may have caused outside their usual country.
Second, the motorist bearer of the Card is as well treated as if the basic insurance policy were underwritten with a company operating in the country visited by the motorist or through which he/she is transiting.
What is expected of each one of us if the Scheme must function smoothly ?
Brown Card Scheme is an insurance project. As such, it is a social device designed and introduced to facilitate and give financial guarantees to the movement of motorists and their vehicles across our sub-region .
What must I do when my vehicle causes an accident in another ECOWAS member State ?
You must always remember that your Brown covers you once you covers you once you leave your country of usual residence . So, in the event of an accident and for you to derive full benefit from the scheme, you must do the following:
Where will I obtain my Brown Card ?
The Brown Card is issued on the basis of an original third party insurance cover. So, for you to obtain one, you must go back to the insurance company that issued you with your normal motor insurance cover. Only this insurance company can deliver your Brown Card to you.
How much will my Brown Card cost ?
The question of how much you will pay for your Brown Card is a matter for the National Bureau of your country to decide.
But, Will obtain comprehensive cover with my Brown Card ?
The major concern of the Brown Card Scheme at this moment is to guarantee compensation for material damage, death and bodily injury caused only to third parties. This is simply because compulsory third party cover forms the minimum requirement of the laws of the countries of the sub-region.