Accident commissioners – a benefit or a scam?
There has long been a need to discuss the topic of emergency commissioners. Are they useful, or all their activities – solid swindle of drivers for money? Opinions on this subject can be found very opposite. Therefore, we will be happy to discuss the topic in the comments to this post.
Let’s say at once, we adhere to the latter version. Our conclusions are based on personal experience of meetings with “wreckers”, as well as the generalized experience of the drivers with whom we had to talk.
Who are wreckers?
In terms of the insurance business, an emergency commissioner is a natural or legal person whose services are used by insurers to protect their interests when an insured event occurs to insured property.
The most interesting thing here is that in Russian auto insurance “wreckers” are not representatives of insurance companies. They are not authorized by the traffic police, and their rights are less than those of the injured party. At the scene of the accident they can act only as a third party, nothing more. It turns out that some commercial structures only borrowed the sonorous name of “emergency commissioners”, being, in fact, another crook, whose activities are not regulated by any norm of Russian law.
In our opinion, their main objective is to make as much money as possible from the still “warm” driver. They show up right after the accident, when the person is in shock, and begin to persuade the driver to use their services, painting a horrible picture of not receiving the insurance payout. What here they do not only promise – and to solve the question of guilt with the traffic police, and “untwist” the insurance company for “money”, etc. They trump up their acquaintance with the GIBDD crew and other police officers, appraisers, etc.
High efficiency of commissioners, due to the large number of “patrols” and well-established communication with the duty unit of the traffic police of the city. In addition, they quite successfully track information about traffic events with the help of Yandex.maps.
Think about it, who will work for free. Yes, in addition to this is to maintain a large staff, a solid fleet of “avarika”, pay rent for offices, etc. The “emergency commissioners” are quite a profitable business, well thought out and streamlined. And the main source of its funding is us, the motorists.
The scheme of their work is simple. The commissioner at the place of the accident “helps” to prepare all the documents and takes them with him. Then the documents are transferred to the office, where specialists do damage assessment, prepare and send documents to the insurance company by mail. If the insurance company refuses and does not pay, or pays little, commissioners file a lawsuit in court.
It would seem all well and simple, but there is one thing – how profitable it is to commissioners, as well as the insurance company and how it is not profitable to the victim of the accident.
Almost all commissioners promise that all costs will be compensated by the insurance company. However, this is not exactly true.
You will have to pay them:
For the work of the commissioner at the place of the accident; For an assessment of the damage; For the preparation and sending of documents; For the preparation of the claim and the participation of a representative in court. In this case, the commissioners conduct the case so that it is almost 100% likely to go to court and give you a court representative without any alternative at inflated rates. Although the plaintiff’s representative’s expenses must be paid by the losing party – the insurance company and/or the party at fault in the accident, the court may not charge the full amount of such expenses if they seem too high. You will have to pay this money out of your own pocket.
If you have free time, without resorting to the help of emergency commissioners, you will have more money left over after the accident.
In addition, of all the services that emergency commissioners provide, it is the filing that looks most questionable. In fact, it is not as complicated a procedure as it seems.
You need to submit to the insurance company a certificate of the accident, certified by the traffic police, as well as a document confirming the guilt of the other driver (for example, a copy of the decision on an administrative offense). These papers are not difficult to obtain from the traffic police. In most cases (if the circumstances are clarified and there are no victims), they will be issued right on the site of the accident.
According to the law on MTPL, the documents should be presented to the insurance company either by the car owner or by a person authorized by him. No insurance company will accept the documents of an “avarcom”. He is nobody in this business. It is not by accident that in the scheme described above, the paperwork is sent to the insurance company by mail, along with the results of the expertise. And they are sent on your behalf.
Therefore, it is better to register the accident without commissioners, calling traffic police inspectors. And then, taking all the papers in the traffic police, go to the insurance and receive payment of the MTPL, which it will count, and then, if the amount is not satisfied, to conduct an independent examination and sue, referring to any lawyer at your discretion.
Registration of the accident with an emergency commissioner – what is the difference and what are the risks?
The first thing you need to know about the registration of an accident with emergency commissioners and others who call themselves assistants in accidents – you should never trust them 100 percent. No official legal status of such persons do not have, they are not authorized to replace either the employees of the traffic police, or insurance companies – more precisely to fulfill the obligations of the participant in the accident in terms of obligations under the law on MTPL.
Who are emergency commissioners and what is their status for 2022?
An emergency commissioner is a person who participates in the execution of documents in a car accident. His functions are initially to simplify formal procedures for the driver involved in the road incident, as well as to provide services to assist in the evacuation of the damaged car and a number of other things.
Such helpers are either representatives of the insurance company or work from independent organizations. In the first case, their services may be free, but not always, in the second – always paid.
At the same time, the scheme of work itself can be of two kinds:
- Assistance of emergency commissioners only in the execution of the accident – documents,
- Assistance to the victims at all stages of damage compensation – up to the payment or repair.
In the second point, it is possible to pay for their services in the form of a fixed cost or in the form of a percentage of the amount of compensation for CMTPL.
Often insurance companies, even at the stage of drawing up an MTPL policy, oblige the driver in the event of an accident to immediately report the accident by telephone number and thus call an emergency commissioner – a representative of the insurer. This is illegal, and the driver has no such obligation.
What is the difference in the procedure of registration of the accident?
It is not significant at all. An accident commissioner is essentially just an assistant in drawing up the documents necessary to receive payment. If the driver does not know how to do it properly – and unfortunately, most drivers do not – then his help can be useful. Otherwise, it isn’t.
Step by step, the work of the emergency commissioner and the differences from the work with the employees of the traffic police or registration of euro-protocol by the drivers themselves is as follows.
|Without A/C||With A/C|
|There is an accident, participants set up a sign of an emergency stop, turn on the emergency lights and call the traffic police.||There is an accident, participants set up a sign of an emergency stop, turn on the emergency lights and call the traffic police.|
|The traffic police arrive, make measurements, draw up documents, take explanations from the participants.||Most often, an emergency commissioner arrives first, offering his assistance; or he arrives at the call of the participant in the accident. He explains to the driver what to write in the explanatory letter, participates in drawing up of documents as a representative of the participant whom he helps.|
|After a certain time, the driver is given all the documents from the traffic police, he applies to the insurance company and receives compensation.||An accident commissioner can offer you either help in getting the insurance compensation for paying him a commission for that, or enter into an assignment agreement with him at all – you will receive the payment directly from the organization which the commissioner represents, while the organization will receive the compensation from the insurance company instead of you. But this is if we are talking about independent commissioners.|
Assistance of the emergency commissioner (A/C) at registration of the accident with the euro-protocol
What are the risks of registration of the accident with an emergency commissioner?
There are a number of risks, which with their weight kill the need for their assistance.
Regress to the guilty party from the insurance company
So, the most important risk for the at-fault driver is the possibility of recourse, i.e. the demand to pay the amount of money that the insurance company paid to the injured party.
The point is that the Federal law “About MTPL insurance” provides for the party at fault to inform his insurance company within 5 days of the accident if the accident was formalized with a euro-protocol, and not to start repairing the vehicle within 15 days.
The scheme in this case looks like this:
- the emergency commissioner draws up the accident without the participation of employees of the traffic police,
- The participants of the accident (at least, the guilty one) think, that the commissioner completely replaces the employees, or even worse – that the commissioner is the GIBDD employee,
- all go quietly away,
- after a certain period of time (as a rule, several months) the party at fault receives a pre-trial claim for recourse compensation of the amount paid to the injured party based on subparagraph g of paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Federal Law “On Auto Insurance”; and if the claim is not satisfied in voluntary settlement, the party at fault sues with additional expenses for compensation of insurance lawyer services and state fees.
Yes, the key here lies in the fact that the perpetrator, again, does not know the law. So why doesn’t the emergency commissioner, whose role is precisely to provide legal assistance, warn about it?! It’s simple – it’s a representative of the insurance company or an affiliated person who is interested in getting the benefit of the insurer – recourse against the guilty party.
How to avoid it?
- Obviously, refuse the help of an emergency commissioner.
- Know your obligations – in particular the right of recourse from the insurance company if you repaired the car earlier than 15 days after the accident or did not present it for inspection at the request of the insurance company (and the recourse for failure to notify the insurer within 5 days of the accident was canceled not so long ago).
- You should also understand that traffic police officers always formalize accidents in uniform, and if a person is not in uniform, he/she is not authorized to act as a substitute.
Limit of payment to the victim in 100 thousand rubles
The risk scheme here is similar to the previous one – an accident is executed with an emergency commissioner, but drivers don’t understand, that it is a euro-protocol and nothing more.
As a result, if the car damages are at least a little bit serious, the injured party will get no more than 100,000 rubles in compensation – this is the limit of euro-protocol payment valid for 2022, except for some situations.
Risk in case of an assignment agreement
In addition to the fact that we found out that the emergency commissioner has no official powers, and his documents have no legal force, there is also a risk in the case of the so-called accompaniment after the accident. It is concluded in the contract of cession – in this case you simply receive significantly less compensation than you could have received from the insurance company directly.
Cession is an assignment of the right of claim. That is, an emergency commissioner, after the execution of the accident and damage assessment, offers you money as compensation for the accident, and you give him the right of claim to the insurance company – he will receive compensation from the latter instead of you.
In this case, you may be offered:
- reimbursement of the agreed amount of compensation on the basis that allegedly the insurance company will not pay you more anyway, and the reduction comes at the expense of the commission for the lack of “difficulties” and red tape in obtaining compensation yourself,
- the amount of compensation can be higher than the payment from the insurance – this, of course, fairy tales, in which case the emergency commissioner or other representatives of the organization themselves underestimate the amount of damage.
In rare cases, under the guise of documents at the execution of the accident can slip a contract of cession, the result of which you will not get anything at all neither from the emergency commissioner (because the document was filed under the “sauce” formal for the registration of the accident), nor from the insurance, because you transferred the right to claim without compensation.
But there is no risk if we are not talking about the assignment of the right of claim, but simply accompanying the receipt of compensation by the emergency commissioner for a certain percentage of the payment or for a fixed amount of his services.