It will be obligatory to insure motorcycles, but difficult to collect damages
The new law did not solve old problems – the amended Law on Compulsory Insurance is in direct conflict with the Law on Road Traffic Safety and the Law on Vehicles, according to which motorcycles are not included in the category of motor vehicles and insurance for them is optional
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The new Law on Compulsory Insurance, in which motorcycles will have to be insured, will not solve problems with the payment of damages until the Law on Road Traffic Safety and Law on Vehicles are not amended, explain lawyers who every day face the conflict between different legal rules.
Inbox 7 repeatedly published researches and testimonies of Macedonian citizens about this issue, who have had serious problems because as victims in traffic accidents caused by motorcycles they could not collect damages. After our stories and at the initiative of the Insurance Supervision Agency (ISA), two months ago the Assembly adopted the amendments to the Law on Compulsory Insurance, according to which since July this year, motorcycles insurance has been mandatory.
The aim of the new amendments to the Law on Compulsory Insurance is to finally put an end to the problems of citizens who have suffered damage in accidents caused by motorcycles. The new law, however, did not solve old problems – the amended Law on Compulsory Insurance is in direct conflict with the Law on Road Traffic Safety and Law on Vehicles, according to which motorcycles are not included in motor vehicles and insurance for them is not obligatory.
“In civil proceedings applies the principle of applicable or non-applicable law. In such proceedings it is judged by the law which was valid at the time when the action happened, in this case the damage, and it does not matter that some of the laws have been amended”, says lawyer Vane Andreev.
From ISA however, they assure that even with this conflict of laws there are strict deadlines by which insurance companies must pay the awarded damages.
“When there is damage to an insured case, the insurance company is obligated to pay the fee specified in the contract within the stipulated period, that is not to exceed 14 days after the company received notification that such case occurred. If additional time is necessary for determination of the existence of the obligation, this time period shall run from the date documentation is completed and established the existence of the obligation of the insurer to pay certain damages”, they say from ISA.
From there they say what insurance companies do not adhere to the legal limits on the grounds that such information is not public information, but they assure that they perform regular checks of their work. They cannot influence judicial decisions.
“We neither can, nor have the right to interfere in the work of the courts. There was an attempt to set the same criteria that will be guidance in deciding, but the judges rejected it citing the right of free court conviction”, says Klime Poposki, president of the Council of Experts of ISA.
Motor vehicle liability insurance declines
Motor vehicle liability insurance in total participation in the insurance business is continuously declining. According to the latest data from the ISA, in the first half of 2014 motor vehicle liability insurance reached an amount of 1,629,883 thousand denars compared to the first half of 2013 when the amount was 1,563,227 thousand denars, an increase of 4.1 percent. However, in terms of total participation in insurance, in the first half of 2014 motor vehicle liability insurance participates with 45.4 percent, which continues the downward trend of the relative share of this class of insurance. In the first half of 2014 insurance companies concluded 10,280 insurance policies for motorcycles in the amount of 14,936,740 denars.
“This is a result of the significant increase in the share of voluntary insurance categories, particularly property insurance, which in the first half of 2014 in comparison with the first half of 2013 was increased by 20 percent”, they say from ISA.
From the Ministry of Interior (MOI) they inform that in 2013 on the territory of Macedonia 411,787 vehicles including motorcycles were registered and re-registered. In the first six months of 2014 8,402 requests were filed for misdemeanor procedure for use of unregistered vehicles and 7105 vehicles were excluded from traffic. 58 drivers were fined for driving unregistered vehicles.