Romania: One in 20 cars causes each year an accident covered by MTPL insurance; the highest frequency of claims is in the cargo transport sector

13 October 2021 — Andreea RADU
Annually, out of every 20 cars registered in Romania, at least one produces a road accident resulting in material damage or personal injury and death*. This frequency can vary significantly, reaching values of over 22% in the area of cargo transport, UNSAR - the Romanian insurers' professional association has stated.

In the individuals segment, car owners up to 30 years of age register the highest frequency of accidents, in all motor categories: 6.4% (less than 1200 cc), 6.2% (1201-1400 cc) and 11.5% (over 2500 cm3). The highest frequency of damage is found, however, in the transport sector, for large vehicles, rising to 22.5% for heavy commercial vehicles (over 16 tons), while the average damage here reaches values much higher than the market average.

The frequency and, especially, the severity of accidents in Romania can also be found in the data published by the Romanian Police. Thus, on average, every day of 2020 there were 17 serious accidents, resulting in loss of life or serious injuries, despite the pandemic context. Of the 22,836 accidents, more than a quarter were serious.

In this context, it is no coincidence that the indicators related to damages (RCA damage rate, simplified - the ratio between damages paid and gross written premiums) are among the highest in Europe. In the first half of 2021, this indicator stood at about 84%, which means that out of 100 lei collected from the first MTPL, 84 are paid to the damaged or are used to build up reserves. To this rate of damage must be added the operating fees, as well as the distribution and administration expenses. Thus, the combined technical rate for RCA became in this time over 116%.

At this moment, the RCA policy covers, according to the law, material damages of EUR 1,220,000 and damages of EUR 6,070,000 for bodily injuries and deaths, both for accidents produced in Romania and in other states of the European Economic Area. There are also member states where the regulations stipulate that under the MTPL policy, regardless of the member state of registration of the insured vehicle, unlimited compensation is granted for bodily injuries and death and / or property damage.

What can we do?

The insurance industry believes that measures are needed to reduce the frequency of road accidents and improve MTPL legislation.

"First of all, we all need to be more responsible and careful in traffic. In order to have safer roads, it is absolutely necessary to adopt a preventive driving behavior," UNSAR officials said.

Another solution, which could produce positive changes for millions of drivers, is of a legislative nature, namely:

  • issuing the joint order of the Ministry of Health and A.S.F. provided by art. 22 paragraph (5) of Law 132/2017 for the regulation of the traumatological scale based on which to calculate the moral compensations amicably, in case of bodily injury or death. We specify that the traumatological scale has existed for years, but even so far it has no normative consecration, because the above-mentioned order has not been issued. The implementation of the traumatic scale will provide predictability and stability to the MTPL insurance market that it needs so much and will ensure objectivity, non-discrimination, efficiency, fairness in costs and, last but not least, can significantly discourage the activity of intermediaries interested in retaining significant sums from the moral compensations granted to the injured persons.
  • introduction of an indicative reference price for the assessment of compensation, both in terms of repairs and rent-a-car, the measure included in the draft Emergency Ordinance amending and supplementing Law 132/2017 on MTPL. We reiterate that the insurance industry supports the introduction of a reference price for car repairs, for information purposes. This instrument is NOT a co-payment and would not impose a cap on car repair rates.
At the end of 2020, Romania had 9.2 million road vehicles registered in circulation, 6% more than the previous year. Over 80% of the vehicles in circulation in 2020 were over 11 years old, and almost a quarter of them were over 20 years old. Of the 64,096 technically controlled vehicles in traffic in 2020, 35% were non-compliant in terms of road safety, and 5% were in imminent danger of accident.

* Road Safety Bulletin, Road Directorate Institute for Crime Research and Prevention, 2021

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