For months, a driver has been waiting for a reaction from the foreign insurance company after an accident that was not his fault.
Actually, it would not be a big deal: in early November 2021, in a parking lot in France near Lyon, a local touched a Citroën with a Swiss number on the fender. Both parties, the Swiss driver and the French driver, complete the European accident report on the spot. It is clear to both parties that the French civil liability insurance must pay for the damage caused by the accident.
Swiss insurance as representative
French insurance is the Map. As is mandatory in Europe, this company also has a so-called correspondence insurance in Switzerland: Dekra. Thanks to this system, those affected have a point of contact in their country of origin.
The Swiss driver reported the case to Dekra. She informed him by email that they would contact him again “unsolicited”. “It’s been a good seven months since then. But so far nothing has happened without being asked,” says the driver in SRF’s consumer magazine “Espresso”. Instead, he had to follow up several times. From time to time, Dekra would reply: It was your turn, still waiting for a confirmation of responsibility from France, they said.Then there was radio silence again for weeks.
Client has been driving with a crushed fender since the incident. It’s not a problem in terms of security, but just ugly, she says. And the long wait for a response from the insurance company, which would have to settle the damage, is extremely tedious.
The Mobiliar subsidiary has taken over
“Espresso” continues with Dekra insurance and receives a response from “XpertCenter AG”, a subsidiary of Mobiliar-Versicherung. Upon request, the latter reported that Dekra had ceased its activities in Switzerland. As of May 1, 2022, all pending and new cases have been taken up and “every effort is now being made to resolve the damage as quickly as possible.” However, the claim can only be “actively pursued to a limited extent” as primary liability rests with a French insurance company and French law applies.
The “Espresso” listener has insured his car with Allianz Suisse, partially fully comprehensive. With such coverage, affected customers are warned. In such cases, compensation is only paid if comprehensive insurance has been taken out, Allianz writes. “As a result, we turned to liability insurance.”
Waiting periods of between six months and two years are not uncommon.
In fact, you can save time and hassle with comprehensive insurance, confirms Stefan Thurnherr, insurance expert at VZ Vermögenszentrum. Of course, such comprehensive coverage is correspondingly more expensive than partial comprehensive coverage or mandatory basic coverage provided by auto liability insurance.
As an alternative, Thurnherr recommends taking out legal protection insurance. A letter from an offshore insurance company attorney often gets things moving. On the other hand, nothing often happens without pressure, in his experience, especially with insurance companies in France or Italy: “Waiting periods of between six months and two years are not uncommon.” Injured foreign parties are often “sausage” for the foreign insurer in the area of liability. He waits, he hopes things will work themselves out. And Swiss correspondence insurance couldn’t do much either.