Recently, complaints from citizens about the unilateral termination of OSAGO contracts by insurers without a refund of the premium have become more frequent. As a rule, the reason is errors in the data about the owner or the car, committed during the execution of the policy. Lawyers recognize that termination of the contract in this case is legal. Human rights activists expect insurers to be more loyal to customers, however, market participants claim that in this way they are protected from fraud by citizens.
due to errors in the data of the insured or the car, follows from the messages of citizens published on the Banki.ru and Sravni.ru portals. In November, more than a dozen such complaints appeared, while earlier the bill went to units.
Thus, AlfaStrakhovanie’s clients complain that the company is terminating the contract due to errors in the car’s power or vehicle registration (TC) and does not return the insurance premium. The insurer refuses the offer of the insurers to correct the situation. Clients of Absolute Insurance and MAKS complain about this practice.
As Kommersant was told at the Central Bank, on average, four to six dozen complaints are received on this topic every month. “We sent instructions to insurers, held supervisory meetings, published an information letter with recommendations to insurers not to allow unfair practices,” concluded the Bank of Russia.
Absolut Insurance believes that they are acting within the law. In accordance with the OSAGO rules, the insurer has the right to unilaterally terminate contracts if false information is identified that is important for determining the degree of insurance risk, they explain there. At the same time, after contacting the company, the client can restore the contract with an additional payment of the insurance premium, they assure there. AlfaStrakhovanie and MAKS did not respond to Kommersant‘s request.
Meanwhile, clients of other insurance companies also face similar situations. So, for the three quarters of 2022, the number of terminations of OSAGO contracts at the initiative of the UK due to incorrect data ranged from 150 thousand to 300 thousand cases, follows from the data of insurers interviewed by Kommersant. According to Yegor Svetlov, head of the Rosgosstrakh OSAGO methodology department, as a rule, information about the territory of the predominant use of the vehicle, its category or engine power is incorrectly indicated. In SberStrakhovanie, the main reason for terminating the contract is incorrect information about the purpose of using the car. Insurers often specifically indicate incorrect data so that the insurer applies coefficients that reduce the insurance premium, the Russian Union of Insurers (RSA) claims.
Lawyers confirm that the practice of terminating OSAGO contracts unilaterally due to errors is within the law. The insurer has the right to prematurely terminate the contract in case of revealing false or incomplete information provided by the insured when concluding the contract, but only if they were essential for determining the degree of insured risk, Andrey Sharkov, managing partner of the legal company Steps, clarifies. To protect their rights, the expert advises to go to court or the Central Bank. At the same time, Irina Kuznetsova, the lawyer of ICA Aronov & Partners, warns that in case of going to court, due to the insignificance of the cost of the policy, the legal costs will exceed the benefits of this proceedings.
Human rights activists believe that the practice of termination OSAGO agreements on the initiative of the insurer must be changed. So, vice-president of the National Automobile Union, Anton Shaparin, believes that errors should be eliminated not by terminating the contract – a mechanistic approach, but in working order. “For example, if the policyholder provided incorrect information that affects the cost of the policy, then he can simply pay extra in his personal account,” he suggests. “If errors do not affect the cost, then they must be eliminated by the insurer or insurance agent.” However, the PCA believes that it is wrong to change the practice, because in this case the insurer will be left without leverage to counter fraudsters.