The practice of liquidation of vehicle damage under liability insurance (OC) agreements in the pre-court stage and before the court

On 23 September 2014, the Conference regarding liquidation of material damage from liability insurance (OC) ppm agreements, organized by the Association of Polish Judges ‘Iustitia’, the Insurance Ombudsman, the Polish Insurance Association and the Polish Chamber of Automotive Industry took place. The conference was dedicated to judges and presented a multi-aspect analysis of process of damage liquidation from the perspective of its participants. The purpose of the meeting was the attempt to define the solutions allowing for the amicable settlement of cases, and in case of proceedings before the court – a better understanding of the essence of disputes resolutions by judges.

The conference was opened by the Marshal dr. Józef Zych, introducing the participants into issues of liability of insurance company. While key issues of the insurer’s liability for vehicle damage have been thoroughly explained in judicature, the criteria referring to expedient and justified costs result in the necessity of individual examination of each case.

The panel prepared by the insurers was dedicated, in particular, to practical actions decreasing the number of cases reaching the court and increasing the number of clients satisfied with the course of process of damage liquidation. Representatives of external entities actively cooperating and participating with insurers in liquidation process — Ekspress sp. z o.o. sp.k. and Toyota Marki, were also invited to deliver the presentation. Further, the presentation of independent car industry delivered by the Chairman of Car Parts Dealers and Producers Association and exhibition of spare parts organized by Inter Cars S.A. served to strengthen the practical resolution of problems of material damage liquidation.

As repeatedly underlined in course of the conference — the integrity of the market is essential. In cases against insurers which reach the court, the rates for lease of a courtesy car are up to three times higher than current market rates. The appointment of the court expert results in further costs, the amount of which often exceeds the pursued, summoned amount. It is characteristic that the vast majority of disputes against insurers is initiated by companies offering “free courtesy car” to the injured party. Usually there are no such disputes in cases, where the injured party has a chance to contact the insurance company first and consider the offer on car lease made by the insurer.