Botswana Motor Vehicle Accident Fund started operations on 1 January 1987. Its establishment was at short notice, born of necessity by the insurance industry’s announcement of intended increases of third party premiums by up to 600 per cent. The industry had cited escalating road traffic accidents as the root cause of the intended premium increase, but Government was concerned that the proposed escalations were out of reach for most motorists. The Fund was born with the ultimate aim of providing “automatic” third party cover through the payment of a fuel levy. The process culminated in the enactment of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Fund Act of 1986.
At inception in 1987, the Fund (then called the Motor Vehicle Insurance Fund) was housed within the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning building in the government enclave. It was managed and administered by the staff of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning until 1990. In 1992, it moved out of the Ministry’s building to rented premises in what was then called Martex House. The Fund moved to its current headquarters building in 1998.
In the same year, it adopted a new set of amendments which reviewed some of the compensation parameters set by the old Act. The upshot was a set of minor limitations on payment in order to ensure the Fund’s continued sustainability. The amendments further transformed the then Motor Vehicle Insurance Act to the Motor Vehicle Accident Act. This change was important in distancing the fund from insurance companies and their infamous reputation for being reluctant to settle claims. Subsequent to the adoption of the new Act, the Fund intensified its public education efforts – an initiative which has resulted in significant year on year average increases in the number of claims settled.
The MVA Fund Act of 1998 was however amended through the MVA Fund Act No. 15, 2007, which is the current governing law. The amendment was necessitated by the desire to provide the Fund's services to as many people as possible. The 1998 Act had some far reaching limitations which left out many road crash victims. The 2007 Act has therefore brought about universal coverage to the MVA Fund’s claimants.