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Mass accident on the M1: this could be the most complicated case for the Hungarian insurance industry

Insurance experts may be scratching their heads, from a professional point of view, how to untangle the well-known, regrettable tragic case, and how to separate the innocent victims of the mass disaster, the perpetrators and those responsible for the development of the situation. Despite the fact that many people think that in such a tragic situation, insurance companies rush to the aid of the injured almost immediately, the situation is not so simple, it may be that you have to wait for months for compensation, if the service providers decide to pay at all, said Péter Németh.

According to the sales and communications director of the CLB insurance broker, if there are no proven responsible parties for the case, the insurers can refuse payment. In such a situation, it is difficult to set up a liability map based on which it is possible to prove who was driving in accordance with the visibility and who was not, since according to the news and several video recordings, there were long seconds when almost nothing could be seen on the road. The insurance experts also need to know whose fault this chaotic situation leading to tragedy has developed. It is even possible that in the end the compensation will not be paid due to the so-called sharing of damages, which roughly means that all of the drivers who were in an accident are both innocent and guilty at the same time. He didn’t keep the following distance, he didn’t drive according to the visibility conditions, he ran into the brake in front of him, while another crashed into his car from behind or from the side, the expert explains.

Németh recalled the memorable spring blizzard of 2015, when hundreds of cars were stuck on the Hungarian section of highways – he himself spent 18 hours in his car with his family and two little girls – trapped in the snow. Even then, it took months to find out who was responsible, and only then did the processing of the legitimate claim of the vehicles involved in the accident begin.

That’s how it will be now, in fact! – believes the communications director. At the end of the long process, lawsuits can also be expected, because many people will probably consider it undeserving if they do not receive compensation or perhaps much less than expected. It is certain, however, that the vehicle owner will fare the worst, whose car has broken down, had a passenger who was injured and who does not have mandatory insurance either. The injured passenger can receive compensation from the Association of Hungarian Insurers, but MABISZ will collect the amount paid from the owner of the vehicle, even if the amount is in the millions. In this case, the wrecked car remains without compensation and even the MABISZ bill must be paid. According to the CLB expert, however, those who also have casco will get money relatively quickly, as this form of insurance provides coverage even in this complicated situation.

The broker company warned several times about the extreme weather and its unforeseeable, or rather uncalculated, often tragic consequences. The company’s claim is confirmed by practice: on average, there is an elemental disaster almost every month that causes serious damage, and the amount of damages paid out for such cases is increasing.

Péter Németh drew attention to an important and now very useful piece of information: those who were injured in the mass car accident should study their home insurance and also whether there is any insurance behind their bank card. In the best case, at least one of them has an accident compensation clause.

Cover image: Getty Images