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April 6, 2013

A public service announcement for owners of uninsured vehicles

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Written by: Politis

By Fotinie Efstratiadou

A law pertaining to uninsured vehicles has recently been passed in the Greek Parliament and will enter into force on April 15, 2013.  The law concerns owners of vehicles that will be found to be uninsured through database cross examinations conducted by the National Information Systems of the Greek Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with other national databases, such as the Police, the Ministries of Development, Agriculture, Transportation, the Epikouriko Kefalaio (Ancillary Capital: an organization that partially compensates for accidents, should an insurance company risk closure, involving an uninsured or unknown vehicle). This cross examination will be carried out on a regular basis (i.e., twice a year).

Starting April 15, 2013, uninsured vehicle owners will receive a letter requesting justifications for complying with the law will then be eligible to be insured, only upon indication of receipt of this letter and payment of an obligatory administrative fee of €250, to be payable on top of the insurance premium. The consequences for not complying can lead to penal sanctions involving a) 10-day withdrawal of license plates and registration, increased to 2-3 years in case of accident, returned only upon proof of insurance; b) an obligatory fine of €250 for motorcycles, €500 for cars, and €1000 for trucks and buses, according to article 16 of κ.ν.489/1976. In case of non-conformance, the National Information Systems Service (Γ.Γ.Π.Σ), will automatically inform the car owner¢s local police, who will enforce the law. 

This law applies equally to cars with plates, but not in circulation, including seasonal vehicles (e.g., rental cars in tourist areas); it does not apply to public vehicles. Those who have recently sold a vehicle are advised to have the vehicle insured until the name of the new owner appears on the new registration, at which time it becomes the obligation of the new owner to insure the vehicle immediately. An insurance policy of a vehicle is considered to be cancelled 30 to 45 days after its renewal date.

Owners are further advised to ascertain that they have not been victims of fraud: that they have the original copy of their insurance policy (and not a photocopy or some other version of the contract); that they have paid their policy and that the premium has actually been received by the insurance company; in short, that their policy is active. Failure to do so may result in the owner having to pay a fine for an uninsured vehicle on top of the premium to reinsure the vehicle.

Greece has long had the highest number of uninsured vehicles among member states of the European Union, with more than 1,500,000 vehicles in this category.  In 2012 the number of uninsured vehicles reached 2 million, of which 2928 were involved in an accident (as opposed to 2541 in 2011). About €58.9 million was paid in compensation in 2012.

The new law bridges the role of insurance conscience as relative to personal versus social responsibility. The legislation protects citizens protect themselves from detrimental financial damages and emotional distress, especially after an amendment limiting the compensation of the Ancillary Capital to €100000 and obliging the driver of the uninsured vehicle causing  an accident, to pay a percentage of the damage up to 30%.

Get in touch with your insurance consultant today, or contact me at 6977719259 or efotinie@gmail.com for further information.

Insurance and Financial Planning – Career Consulting, with Megagency S.A. Brokerage Firm (i.e., health, pension, home, vehicle, business, etc.) in Greek, English, and French. T. 6977719259; E: efotinie@gmail.com

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