The COMESA Yellow Card is a motor vehicle insurance scheme which is valid in all the participating countries. It covers third-party liabilities and medical expenses for the driver of the vehicle and his passengers should they suffer any bodily injury as a result of an accident to an insured vehicle. It also facilitates cross border movement of vehicles between COMESA member countries. As this card is valid in many parts of the region, transporters and motorists do not have to buy insurance cover at each border post they cross.
For example, if a Kenyan motorist wishes to drive to Harare, Zimbabwe, he will purchase a Yellow Card from an insurance company in Kenya for the required period of time and to cover the countries he will travel through. If on his way to Zimbabwe he is involved in an accident in Malawi all he will be required to do is to report to the Malawian Yellow Card National Bureau, which is the focal point (often an insurance company) representing all the insurance companies issuing Yellow Cards, and the traffic police. The National Bureau will then handle and settle the claim arising from this accident. Therefore, if his vehicle is in a roadworthy state the motorist is then free to continue his journey to Zimbabwe.
The scheme is currently operational in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. About 150 insurance companies are involved in the operation of the scheme and issue about 50,000 cards annually.