Major changes in the new Law on Compulsory Auto Insurance in Croatia

In mid-December, the Croatian Parliament confirmed the decision that would enable the abolition of the monopoly of insurance companies. Thus, the Parliament took the side of consumers and car repairers, and after 15 years, they harmonized this Act with the legal framework of the EU.

What are these major changes in the new law on compulsory auto insurance in Croatia?

First of all, under the new law, insurers have fewer rights because insurance companies will no longer be able to assess and determine how much an hour of work will cost and dictate where cars will be repaired. From 2024, hourly service rates will be recognized, not the imposed ones of only 13 euros that have not changed for decades, and policyholders will be able to count on a replacement car in the future.

This means that after a collision, the insurers will no longer be the first to go, but to the service center because the service centers will also be able to do damage assessments at their own, not imposed, prices. It means that there is no longer an insurance monopoly that allows them to simultaneously assess and determine the amount of damages and to ‘force’ consumers into services that they specify.

“The Croatian Association of the Automotive Industry made a huge contribution to the creation of the new law, the aim of which is to bring order to this dark zone of business, which generates several illegalities and irregularities, and to bring it into line with European regulations. The previous law encouraged the gray zone and “theft.” At the same time, due to the huge number of settlements and more than 65 percent of the total number of damages, the safety of poorly repaired vehicles was also threatened, and the state lost EUR 50 million annually in VAT alone,” is stated in the press release from the Croatian Association of the Automotive Industry (HUAS).

Also, the news is that the payment of damages is made within 15 days from the sending of the reasoned offer of the insurer, that is, within a maximum period of 60 days.

The Croatian Association of the Automotive Industry was able to promote greater consumer rights, and the car service profession finally started to be appreciated. Three new things have been added, and HANFA—the body that oversees insurers—must draft a new regulation outlining the specifics of the insurance claim processing process.

The most important major changes in the new law on compulsory auto insurance in Croatia are:

  • Mandatory payment of damages (the undisputed part of the damages or invoice) within 15 days of sending the explanation to the injured party. And that is at the expense of repairmen.
  • The injured party’s right to an independent assessment and the right to submit a service workshop offer are introduced. Now it is a legal right!
  • Greater rights and information for the injured party.
  • HANFA, as a regulator, issues another regulation for the processing and payment of damages.

We are growing – new partnership with NB Invest

As one of the leaders in property insurance, insurance brokerage company NB Invest from Belgrade successfully markets over one billion euros of non-life insurance with domestic insurance companies. NB Invest, founded in 2013, has concluded brokerage contracts with all domestic insurance companies.

With both domestic and foreign companies as their clients, they manage to provide optimal insurance conditions, adequate coverage, and a favorable insurance price. And now, together with Gortyna, they will be in a position to provide the best possible support whenever their clients have an insurance claim.

Our claims services will be available to both NB Invest and their clients. And that list is really impressive: Auto Čačak, Educons University, Univerexport, Olympic Committee of Serbia, etc.

As stated by Božidar Todorović, General Manager at NB Invest, “In the insurance business, we always try to define the risks surrounding the client’s business and later find adequate insurance coverage. This is the adopted standard in our business, and we have gained a recognizable name on the domestic market because of it.”

Both NB Invest and Gortyna will work side by side to improve and upgrade the levels of services that they provide and establish a cooperative relationship beneficial to all parties involved, especially clients.

The client of our partner is our client!

New partnerships, new opportunities

Although you will find them on our client page, we ought to look at brokerage companies as our partners! That is why we see our agreement with Aspekt IFA posredovanje u osiguranju as a new partnership and a new opportunity. An insurance broker is an insurance advisor or consultant who knows the insurance market, understands the client’s needs, and helps and mediates when concluding contracts. An insurance broker does not sell insurance but takes on the client’s work in searching for and choosing the best offer.

With the same goal in mind: to provide the best possible service and solutions to clients, this cooperation is a perfect fit.

This cooperation will be beneficial for all parties: the insured, that is, clients, Apsketf IFA and Gortyna.

Founded in 2008, Aspekt IFA has a long track record of success. It is established as a trustworthy company that has the interest of its clients in the first place. This is why we truly believe that this cooperation has a great future and that it will lead to an improvement in the level at which both companies provide services.

Aleksandar Marinković, Founder and General Manager, stated: “I am thrilled and excited that we managed to find common ground and common interests with Aspekt IFA. Both companies seek to provide the best service to their clients and put clients first. This is why it was easy to arrange this partnership, and we look forward to helping clients of Aspekt IFA with regard to their insurance claims. Aspekt IFA was the first insurance brokerage company to recognize what we do and how we do it. I am thankful to their Founder and Manager Branko Divjaković for trusting us with their client.

The client of our partner is our client!

Blue Card System began to operate between Russia and Belarus

The first agreement concluded by the Russian Association of Motor Insurers (RSA), within the framework of the Blue Card System with the Belarusian Transport Insurance Bureau (BBTS), began to operate in full on September 2, 2023.

On June 30, 2023, the Council of Bureaux suspended the membership of the Belarusian and Russian  Green Card Bureaux from participation in the Green Card System. Due to this suspension, an agreement on the “Blue Card” was concluded between the RSA and the BBTS on June 1, 2023. In accordance with this agreement, after June 30, drivers still have the opportunity to issue policies for trips to the Republic of Belarus, while the policies already issued have continued their validity.

Additionally, agreements with the National Associations of Motor Insurance of Turkey and Azerbaijan were reached, ensuring the validity of “Green Card” contracts signed before July 1, 2023, for the entire time period for which they were granted. With these associations, agreements that are comparable to those with the BBTS are also being negotiated.

The agreement reached between the RSA and the BBTS came into full effect on September 2, 2023. With a few exceptions, it specifies regulations for the “Blue Card,” which are essentially the same as those for the “Green Card” system. Thus, “Green Card” forms are now being issued as proof that the contract was signed, and fresh “Blue Card” forms will be provided starting on January 1, 2024.

Through checking the availability of insurance by state registration in the bureau’s centralized databases, a request for confirmation of insurance can be issued for both an identified and an unidentified policy. The insurance confirmation request will be answered within six weeks, just like before. The vehicle in this case was previously only recognized as insured when sending a request under an identified contract, but unlike the “Green Card” system, any vehicle is recognized as insured in the absence of a response, regardless of which policy the request was sent to, identified or unidentified.

Since settlements were previously made in euros, the primary settlement currency is now the country where the accident occurred.

We find this to be important news since the effects of these decisions and agreements are yet to be determined.

Insurance customers are far more open to sharing data than previously assumed by the industry

A recent survey conducted by Sollers Consulting and IPSOS revealed that insurance customers are far more open to sharing data than previously assumed by the industry.

According to the study, which included 3,800 insurance customers from the UK, France, Germany, and Poland, a sizeable majority of customers are open to sharing data in exchange for lower premiums.

The results of the survey show that almost one-third of insurance customers expressed a willingness to disclose information in exchange for premium discounts.

According to the survey, insurance customers are increasingly adopting digital insurance plans that call for sharing information about the devices they use.

34.5% of respondents said they would be willing to share information with their insurers to obtain more affordable plans in the face of pressures from inflation and a cost-of-living problem.

Out of the nations studied, Polish insurance customers showed the most willingness to share data in exchange for premium discounts, with 41.25% showing an interest in this possibility. Respondents from Germany (36%), the UK (32.75%), and France (26.75%) were not far behind, indicating a strong demand for data-driven insurance solutions throughout Europe.

With a remarkable acceptance percentage of 51%, on-demand insurance, which enables consumers to switch coverage on and off, stood out as the most popular. With a 50.25% approval percentage, usage-based insurance, such as pay-as-you-drive, was also highly appreciated.

The most popular and well-liked data-driven insurance alternative is car telematics, which records driving behavior using sensors in the car or smartphones.

Even while smart home insurance is less common, one-third of customers still show a lot of interest in it.

The adoption of data-driven strategies and a better understanding of individual risks are now possible for insurers, which will result in the creation of more affordable and specialized insurance solutions.

Experts predict that insurance companies will make investments in rebuilding their data architecture and creating new customer-centric solutions in the upcoming years in response to these evolving preferences.

The question that remains is what effect this will have on claims settlement and claims services in general.

A supercell storm hit Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, causing exceptional material damage

Last night, a supercell storm hit Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, causing exceptional material damage and, unfortunately, several deaths.

The scenes from the region this morning are apocalyptic, from smashed cars, collapsed buildings, downed trees, and broken glass, all the way to downed cranes.

What creates additional concern is the meteorologist’s announcement that the region will be hit by another storm today afternoon. That’s why we bring you instructions on what to do and what not to do during these storms:

Hazards during storms include:

  • very strong winds,
  • heavy and abundant rainfall,
  • lightning strikes,
  • possible hail.

During strong storms, the following measures should be taken if you are in an open area:

  • secure all objects that can fly away due to strong wind or heavy rain and cause material damage or injury to citizens,
  • secure windows and exterior doors and close all interior doors,
  • avoid contact with kitchen and bathroom taps, radiators and other metal objects, as they will corrode the conductors.

If you are outdoors, follow these instructions:

  • stay away from any tall structures (masts, poles, towers), and keep in mind that the safe distance is equal to the height of the structure,
  • avoid tall trees, fences, telephone cables, and power lines,
  • try to find shelter in a building or in a car, and if that is not possible, sit on the ground,
  • avoid standing near buildings or cars that you cannot enter as cover,
  • if you are in the forest, take cover under the branches of low trees – never stand under tall trees in the open,
  • avoid the boundary between forest and open space, rather enter the forest,
  • avoid open fields, hilltops and mountaintops, banks, ditches or other wet places,
  • do not cross the water, do not swim,
  • do not hold an umbrella or other metallic conductive objects in your hands (golf clubs, fishing rods, etc.),
  • avoid being near metal objects, bicycles, camping equipment and the like,
  • do not stand upright, squat or at least bend down, without touching the ground with your hands, and if you are in a group keep a distance of 5 meters between you.

If you find yourself in a car during a severe storm:

  •  stop the car on the side of the road away from power lines and trees that may fall on the car,
  • stay in your car and turn on your side lights until the storm passes,
  • close the windows and do not touch metal objects in the car,
  • avoid flooded roads.

Gortyna remains at your disposal for any claims that you might have caused by these storms.