CROATIA: Rulebook on the procedure for resolving compensation claims of injured persons in traffic

4 July 2024 — Daniela GHETU
The Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Hanfa) has adopted a new Rulebook on the procedure for resolving compensation claims of persons injured in traffic, thus providing clear guidelines for insurers on the obligation arising from the new Law on Compulsory Traffic Insurance adopted in the beginning of the year.

Based on the, this rulebook provides clear guidelines for insurance companies, with the aim of effective treatment of citizens when paying out claims based on automobile liability insurance.

The key provisions of the Rulebook stipulate the following:

  • Transparency and information 
Insurers are obliged to clearly and comprehensibly inform injured persons about the procedure for resolving compensation claims, including what to do in the event of a traffic accident, how to file a compensation claim and what documents and information they need to attach. Properly completed European accident reports, if available, can be used as a claim for compensation, i.e. as a statement about the circumstances of the harmful event in accordance with Article 38 of the Law.

  • Timely communication 
Insurers must without delay inform the injured person in writing about the received request, its status and the rights of injured persons during the procedure.

  • Fair treatment 
Insurers are obliged to take all necessary measures to ensure fair and professional treatment of injured persons, including compliance with deadlines and justification of decisions on compensation claims.

  • Restrictions on searching for data 
Insurers must limit themselves to requesting only necessary information from the injured person, such as identification information, contact information and information on the method of payment of compensation.

  • Independent acquisition of data 
Insurers are obliged to obtain the data and/or documentation necessary to resolve the compensation claim that are available to them, including documentation from the competent authorities that have data related to the traffic accident.

  • Appreciation of the opinions of independent experts 
Insurers are obliged to take into account the findings and opinion of an independent expert and the offer or invoice for damage repair from an authorized service provider personally chosen by the injured party. Any non-acceptance of such a finding or account must be justified.

  • Unconditional settlements
Insurers may not condition the resolution of the claim or the payment of damages by entering into a settlement or repairing the vehicle at a specific service workshop, nor refer to this as the best or only way to resolve the claim.

The reasoned offer of compensation made by the insurance company should contain, among other things:

  • a specification of the determined amount of damages, including details of replacement and repair parts, catalog numbers, and the number of man-hours according to the manufacturer's repair standards, together with an explanation of the specific factors applied, such as depreciation or co-responsibility
  • a detailed statement on the disputed points of the submitted findings and opinion of the independent expert and disputed items of the invoice, ie the offer to repair the damage
  • the instruction on the right to file a complaint and the method of filing a complaint against the insurer's decision, and within 15 days for a response to the complaint.
The Rulebook also prescribes the following deadlines:

  • The deadline for receiving the compensation claim 
The insurer is obliged to record each received compensation claim no later than within 3 working days from the date of its receipt.

  • Deadline for payment of damages 
The insurer is obliged to pay the compensation or the undisputed amount of the compensation within 15 days of sending a reasoned response, but no later than within 60 days of receiving the compensation request.

According to this Ordinance, every insurer is obliged to publish a document with key information for the injured person in a visible place on its website and to introduce it to the injured person, and at his request to hand over the said document when submitting a claim for compensation.

Hanfa will actively monitor the implementation of the Ordinance to ensure compliance with the prescribed rules. The Rulebook enters into force on the eighth day from the day of its publication in the "Narodne novine".

Find more information in the Rulebook (Croatian version).