As a rule, car insurance should pay for the damage caused by a car accident. But some accident victims have trouble with the insurance of the accident opponent and have to fight for the benefits in court, reports the ZDF magazine Frontal 21. In the process, one appraisal joins the next. The processes are so protracted. Frontal 21 has gone to the bottom of the question as to whether appraisals for legal proceedings are to be drawn up in the interest of its clients, ie in the interest of insurance companies.
Frontal 21: Insurance argue with accident victims
When settling claims, it’s not just about property damage, but also personal injury. Medical reports should then determine whether health restrictions are a consequence of the traffic accident and the motor insurance has to cover the costs of medical treatment. Especially with high amounts of damage long-term procedures are not uncommon, reported Frontal 21. The goal is that the accident victims give up unnerved, critics say. The insurance industry denies that. But recent court decisions criticize attempts at attrition, delayed claims settlement and petty regulatory behavior of insurance companies.
Frontal 21: Act reviewers in terms of insurance?
In the specific case, an interested person expresses suspicion to Frontal 21 that the appraisers only rate them unilaterally, even though they are appointed by the court and should be independent. The alliance with which the accident victim argues indicates that the reviewers mentioned do not receive “regular orders for review” from the insurance. Another person complains about insurance-friendly appraisals. In his opinion, the supposedly independent experts are often entangled in a financial network of dependencies.
Legal changes required
So far, the federal government had no doubts about the independence of the experts in court. But due to the growing criticism, there now seems to be a need for action. The Petitions Committee of the Bundestag has called on the Federal Government to amend the Code of Civil Procedure. Experts should disclose in the future whether they depend economically on insurance companies, reports Frontal 21.
Problems with claim settlement
There may also be problems when taking up property damage. Car insurers rarely send their own employees to assess damage. Instead, you hire freelance reviewers or companies. However, as they work on behalf of the insurance and want to do so in the future, it is suspected that the experts write their reports accordingly benevolent. For example, in some reports, transport costs are omitted or hourly rates are set too low. In this way, victims of motor vehicle accident insurance often get less than they are entitled.
Car insurance: lower damages
So it happens that between the opinion of an independent expert and the report of the commissioned by the insurance expert several hundred euros in the assessment of the amount of damage. Hardly an affected person defends itself against these abuses. Sometimes it is enough to get legal assistance to get all necessary repair costs reimbursed. If you want to save yourself from such problems, you should insist on having your own expert from the beginning and not claiming the company-owned expert of the car insurance of the accident opponent.
Stiftung Warentest advises: commission your own expert
The Stiftung Warentest also points out that many insurers unduly reduce damages – usually between 10 and 20 percent. The experts of the consumer organization advise those affected never to negotiate with the insurance expert. Consumers as lay people have no chance against this. Instead, they should take a lawyer. The costs have to be paid by the opposing insurance company.